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Employment-Related Crimes

NCJ Number
American Criminal Law Review Volume: 48 Issue: 2 Dated: Spring 2011 Pages: 499-539
Christopher J. Clark; Brittany Clement
Date Published
41 pages
This article reviews criminal statutes that punish employers for violations of occupational safety and employment standards.
Relevant statutes were enacted in order 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 under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) and the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act (FMSHA). The OSH Act provides for criminal sanctions in three situations: when an employer's willful violation of a standard, rule, order, or regulation causes the death of an employee; when an individual makes a false representation regarding OSH Act compliance; and when any person gives advance notice of an inspection. FMSHA protects 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 was enacted 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 employee work records; discriminating on the basis of sex by paying different wages for equal work; or using oppressive child labor. Another section discusses the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), which prohibits employers from making payments and loans to employees or labor organizations. The concluding section of the article reviews section 501(c) of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, which is intended to prevent appropriations of union funds for non-union purposes. 265 notes


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