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Employment-Related Crimes

NCJ Number
American Criminal Law Review Volume: 47 Issue: 2 Dated: Spring 2010 Pages: 401-440
Jillian M. Collins; Natalie I. DeBoer
Date Published
40 pages
This article analyzes criminal statutes that punish employers for violations of occupational safety and employment standards.
The regulatory scheme based on these statutes is intended to ensure worker safety, eliminate labor conditions detrimental to the Nation's commerce and the general welfare of workers, and provide labor unions with greater protection from corrupt union and management officials. One section of the article discusses criminal sanctions pertinent to worker safety under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) and the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act (FMSHA). Issues discussed relative to the OSH Act are the employer's willful violation of a standard causing death, false representations, enforcement, and penalties. The FMSHA is intended to protect mine worker health and safety through a combination of civil, criminal, and administrative enforcement mechanisms. Another section of the article analyzes criminal sanctions applicable to employment practices under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938. The FLSA is intended 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. Other FLSA offenses are also reviewed, along with penalties and enforcement. A third section of the article reviews the features of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), which prohibits employers from making payments and loans to employees or labor organizations. In addition to elements of the offense, this section discusses the exceptions contained within the LMRA and the penalties provided. The article's concluding section reviews the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, specifically Section 501(c), which prevents appropriations of union funds for nonunion purposes. 258 notes