TITLE 28
Labor and Labor Relations

CHAPTER 28-20
Division of Occupational Safety

SECTION 28-20-18


§ 28-20-18 Penalties.

(a) Any employer who willfully or repeatedly violates the requirements of § 28-20-8, any code, rule, or order promulgated pursuant to § 28-20-24, or regulations prescribed pursuant to this chapter, may be assessed a civil penalty of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each violation.

(b) Any employer who has received a compliance order for a serious violation of the requirements of § 28-20-8, any code, rule, or order promulgated pursuant to § 28-20-24, or of any other regulations prescribed pursuant to this chapter, shall be assessed a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each violation.

(c) Any employer who has received a compliance order for a violation of the requirements of § 28-20-8, any code, rule, or order promulgated pursuant to § 28-20-24, or of other regulations prescribed pursuant to this chapter, and the violation is specifically determined not to be of serious nature, may be assessed a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each violation.

(d) Any employer who fails to correct a violation for which a compliance order has been issued under § 28-20-16 within the period permitted for its correction, which period shall not begin to run until the date of the final order of the review board in the case of any review proceeding under § 28-20-17 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 one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each day during which the failure or violation continues.

(e) Any employer who willfully violates any code, rule, or order promulgated pursuant to § 28-20-24, or of any regulations prescribed pursuant to this chapter, and that violation caused death to any employee, shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by both; except that if the conviction is for a violation committed after a first conviction of the employer, punishment shall be by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) or by imprisonment for not more than two (2) years, or by both.

(f) Any person who gives advance notice of any inspection to be conducted under this chapter without authority from the director shall upon conviction be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by both.

(g) Whoever knowingly makes any false statements, representation, or certification in any application, record, report, plan, or other document filed or required to be maintained pursuant to this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by both.

(h) Any employer who violates any of the posting requirements, as prescribed under the provisions of this chapter, shall be assessed a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each violation.

(i)(1) Any person who obstructs or otherwise interferes with the director of labor and training or the director of health or their representative while engaged in the performance of their duties shall be imprisoned for a period not exceeding one year or be fined a sum not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500).

(2) Subdivision (1) of this subsection shall in no way limit the authority of the state to impose any other penalty that may be deemed appropriate for other offenses by any person against any employee or other representative of the division of occupational safety while engaged in the performance of his or her duties.

(j) The review board shall have the authority to assess all civil penalties provided in this section, giving due consideration to the appropriateness of the penalty with respect to the size of the business of the employer being charged, the gravity of the violation, the good faith of the employer, and the history of previous violations.

(k) For purposes of this section, a serious violation exists in a place of employment 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 the place of employment unless the employer did not, and could not with the exercise of reasonable diligence, know of the presence of the violation.

(l) Civil penalties due under this chapter shall be paid to the director for deposit into the treasury of the state of Rhode Island and shall accrue to the state and may be recovered in a civil action in the name of the state brought in the superior court for the county where the violation is alleged to have occurred or where the employer has its principal office.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1973, ch. 260, § 2.)