The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act requires employers to notify the Department of Labor about employee injuries causing the loss of one or more shifts of work. See 33 U.S.C. § 930(a). The notification must be made within ten days from the date of the injury or death. If an employer does not comply with this reporting requirement, it could face a huge penalty:
Any employer, insurance carrier, or self-insured employer who knowingly and willfully fails or refuses to send any report required by this section or knowingly or willfully makes a false statement or misrepresentation in any such report shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for each such failure, refusal, false statement, or misrepresentation.
See 33 U.S.C. § 930(e).
The seriousness of the Section 30(e) penalty is underscored by a recent press release from the DOL. An employer was accused of failing to report in a timely manner on the injuries and deaths of 30 employees in Iraq. After negotiations, the DOL and Employer agreed to settle the penalty issue for $75,000 plus greater penalties for future violations. The DOL press release makes clear that the DOL is willing and able to charge hefty penalties. Accordingly, employers should make sure that they fully comply with Section 30′s reporting requirements.