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Employment-Related Crimes

NCJ Number
American Criminal Law Review Volume: 43 Issue: 2 Dated: Spring 2006 Pages: 341-380
Audrey . Laning; Jessica M.. Goncalves
Date Published
40 pages
This article analyzes criminal statutes that punish employers for violations of occupational safety and employment standards.
A section on criminal laws relevant to worker safety analyzes the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and discusses the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act (FMSHA). The analysis of the OSH Act examines two offenses: willful violation of a specific standard that results in an employee's death and false representation. The discussion of FMSHA focuses on the elements of the specified offenses. Another section of the article addresses the offense elements, penalties, and enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which was enacted in 1938 to eliminate labor conditions detrimental to the Nation's commerce and the general welfare of workers. It prohibits an employer from failing to pay the Federal minimum wage or overtime compensation to an employee; failing to keep individual work records for each employee; discriminating on the basis of sex by paying different wages for equal work; or using oppressive child labor. Another section examines payment or loans by employers to employees or labor organizations. This issue pertains to Section 302 of the Taft-Hartley Act, which provides labor unions and their members protection from corrupt union and management officials by prohibiting bribery by employers and extortion by employee representatives. This section considers elements of the offense, exceptions, and penalties. The article concludes with a discussion of the protection of union funds under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, which penalizes appropriations of union funds for nonunion purposes. In addition to elements of the offense, the discussion focuses on defenses and penalties. 245 footnotes


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