The Commission released an Order amending Section 1.80(b) of the Commission’s rules to adjust the forfeiture penalties for inflation, in accordance with the 2015 Inflation Adjustment Act. The Act requires agencies to annually adjust the civil monetary penalties covered thereunder, and to publish the adjustment by January 15th.

Following OMB guidance, the Commission must first identify the applicable penalties, and then must apply the 2018 adjustment multiplier (supplied by OMB), which is 1.02041, to the most recently established or adjusted penalty amount and round up to the nearest dollar for each penalty. The adjustments adopted herein only apply to penalties assessed on and after January 15, 2018, including penalties whose associated violation predated the increase. Attachment A to the Order compares the 2017 maximum forfeiture penalty rates with the adjusted 2018 penalty rates, while the Appendix lists the amended rule.

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