What’s worse? Inflation? Or rules keeping up with inflation?
We have a very specific slide in the rules and regulation section of our inspection program dealing with fines and the U.S. Government. The current slide states $450 minimum civil penalty for failing to train. Luckily the U.S. Government has a rule in effect to ensure that the fines keep up with inflation.
On July 1, 2016 the PHMSA put out Digest DOT 81-16 which takes advantage of the “Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.” That would be the acronym “FCPIAAIA” for those of you who can’t remember name of the act. That is as confusing or more confusing than the definition that OSHA gives for the definition of an employee stated in our program (Slide 7).
Effective August 1, 2016 the rule adjusts the current penalties by 2.8%. The prior maximum civil penalty for knowingly violating a rule was $75,000 usd. The act now makes that penalty $77,114 usd. The minimum fine, for failing to train, the most common violation I see when reviewing the penalty reports, is currently $463 usd, a 2.8% increase from the $450 we list on the slide program (Slide 11).
We are in the process of updating the program trying to keep on a three year update cycle. At this point I would mention the increase in the fines to your students, without changing the slide. We will make certain to update this slide in the 2017 version which we hope to have out at the beginning of ……you guessed it…..2017.