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49.17.170  <<  49.17.180 >>   49.17.190

RCW 49.17.180

Violations — Civil penalties.

(1) Except as provided in RCW 43.05.090, any employer who willfully or repeatedly violates the requirements of RCW 49.17.060, of any safety or health standard promulgated under the authority of this chapter, of any existing rule or regulation governing the conditions of employment promulgated by the department, or of any order issued granting a variance under RCW 49.17.080 or 49.17.090 may be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed seventy thousand dollars for each violation. A minimum penalty of five thousand dollars shall be assessed for a willful violation.

     (2) Any employer who has received a citation for a serious violation of the requirements of RCW 49.17.060, of any safety or health standard promulgated under the authority of this chapter, of any existing rule or regulation governing the conditions of employment promulgated by the department, or of any order issued granting a variance under RCW 49.17.080 or 49.17.090 as determined in accordance with subsection (6) of this section, shall be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed seven thousand dollars for each such violation.

     (3) Any employer who has received a citation for a violation of the requirements of RCW 49.17.060, of any safety or health standard promulgated under this chapter, of any existing rule or regulation governing the conditions of employment promulgated by the department, or of any order issued granting a variance under RCW 49.17.080 or 49.17.090, where such violation is specifically determined not to be of a serious nature as provided in subsection (6) of this section, may be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed seven thousand dollars for each such violation, unless such violation is determined to be de minimis.

     (4) Any employer who fails to correct a violation for which a citation has been issued under RCW 49.17.120 or 49.17.130 within the period permitted for its correction, which period shall not begin to run until the date of the final order of the board of industrial insurance appeals in the case of any review proceedings under this chapter initiated by the employer in good faith and not solely for delay or avoidance of penalties, may be assessed a civil penalty of not more than seven thousand dollars for each day during which such failure or violation continues.

     (5) Any employer who violates any of the posting requirements of this chapter, or any of the posting requirements of rules promulgated by the department pursuant to this chapter related to employee or employee representative's rights to notice, including but not limited to those employee rights to notice set forth in RCW 49.17.080, 49.17.090, 49.17.120, 49.17.130, 49.17.220(1), and 49.17.240(2), shall be assessed a penalty not to exceed seven thousand dollars for each such violation. Any employer who violates any of the posting requirements for the posting of informational, educational, or training materials under the authority of RCW 49.17.050(7), may be assessed a penalty not to exceed seven thousand dollars for each such violation.

     (6) For the purposes of this section, a serious violation shall be deemed to exist in a workplace if there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a condition which exists, or from one or more practices, means, methods, operations, or processes which have been adopted or are in use in such workplace, unless the employer did not, and could not with the exercise of reasonable diligence, know of the presence of the violation.

     (7) The director, or his or her authorized representatives, shall have authority to assess all civil penalties provided in this section, giving due consideration to the appropriateness of the penalty with respect to the number of affected employees of the employer being charged, the gravity of the violation, the size of the employer's business, the good faith of the employer, and the history of previous violations.

     (8) Civil penalties imposed under this chapter shall be paid to the director for deposit in the supplemental pension fund established by RCW 51.44.033. Civil penalties may be recovered in a civil action in the name of the department brought in the superior court of the county where the violation is alleged to have occurred, or the department may utilize the procedures for collection of civil penalties as set forth in RCW 51.48.120 through 51.48.150.

[2010 c 8 § 12015; 1995 c 403 § 629; 1991 c 108 § 1; 1986 c 20 § 2; 1973 c 80 § 18.]

Notes:

     Findings -- Short title -- Intent -- 1995 c 403: See note following RCW 34.05.328.

     Part headings not law -- Severability -- 1995 c 403: See RCW 43.05.903 and 43.05.904.