Yes, Colorado, the Excessive Fines Clause Protects Small Businesses against Your Regulatory Death Penalty

Ilya ShapiroMrs. Soon Pak manages Dami Hospitality, LLC, a company that runs hotels and motels in Colorado. Pak is a Korean immigrant with minimal proficiency in English. She relies on third-party professionals to assist her in maintaining compliance with the myriad regulations that even native English speakers struggle to understand. Between 2006 and 2014, Dami ’s insurance agent failed to renew the company’s worker’s compensation insurance, despite assuring Pak that Dami maintained full coverage.In 2014, the state division of workers' compensation gave notice that Dami ’s policy had lapsed, and Pak immediately secured coverage without any employee suffering any harm. A few weeks later, the division imposed a fine of $841,200, calculated at a $25-500 daily rate that the division had allowed to accumulate for eight years before finally giving notice to the company . Put simply, the state assessed nearly a million-dollar fine against a small corporation—which grosses less than a quarter of the total fine—for a violation that was solved immediately after notice was received, with no actual harm done to anyone.However one defines "excessive," this fine is excessive compared to Dami ’s violation. To frame it in the worker’s comp context, if an employee is killed on a job, his dependent receives $250,000. That means the Colorado Labor Department considers the results of Dami’s lazy insurance agent to be worse than thr...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - Category: American Health Authors: Source Type: blogs

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