Beyond Citations and Fines: Alleged Serial Violator Charged with Contempt


The Department of Labor Office of the Solicitor asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to hold a “serial violator” in civil contempt for failing to correct violations cited by OSHA and failing to pay $404,000 in fines levied from 2000 to 2011. The alleged serial violator’s companies, Lessard Roofing & Siding Inc. and Lessard Brothers Construction Inc., were cited for safety violations 11 times at 11 different work sites. Although seeking such strong sanctions, “including incarceration if necessary,” is an infrequent action for OSHA, employers should take note that OSHA will consider contempt enforcement, particularly with recalcitrant employers.1

1 Serial violator Stephen Lessard faces contempt charges for ignoring OSHA safety hazards, failing to pay $400K in fines: Roofing contractor flouts prior court order; continues to put workers at risk of falls, OSHA News Release (U.S. Dep’t of Labor, Office of Public Affairs), Mar. 11, 2015, available here

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