The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP), Division of Federal Employees’ Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (DFELHWC) administers claims filed under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).

The mission of the DFELHWC is to minimize the impact of employment injuries and deaths on employees and their families by ensuring that workers’ compensation benefits provided under the LHWCA and its extensions are paid promptly and properly.

The LHWCA allows the DFELHWC to impose a penalty when an employer or insurance carrier fails to timely report a work-related injury or death, or fails to timely report its final payment of compensation to a claimant.

Proposed Rulemaking

On September 12, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register to revise current procedures for imposing and appealing civil money penalties established by the LHWCA.

The proposed rulemaking by the department’s OWCP focuses on the process used to assess civil penalties to entities that fail to report worker injuries accurately and timely. The changes will help clarify the process, provide individualized failure notices and allow additional opportunities to contest penalties.

The proposal also enhances procedures for contesting OWCP’s penalty determinations by protecting the rights of employers and insurance carriers to challenge agency actions before final penalties are set, ensuring transparency and fairness in the enforcement process. In addition, the changes will establish clear guidelines for penalty assessments to improve OWCP’s ability to enforce penalties that can withstand legal challenges.

The department encourages the public and other stakeholders to submit written comments as part of the rulemaking process. Comments must be submitted by Nov. 13, 2023, and they can be submitted electronically at

More information and the proposed rule are available at the following links: