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Employment-Related Crimes

NCJ Number
American Criminal Law Review Volume: 49 Issue: 2 Dated: Spring 2012 Pages: 569-610
Jared Stark; Ariel Xue
Date Published
42 pages
This article analyzes criminal statutes that punish employers for violations of occupational safety and employment standards.
The regulatory scheme reviewed was 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 laws relevant to workers safety. This section examines the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) by reviewing two offenses: willful violation of a specific standard that results in employee death, and a false representation. In addition, this section discusses enforcement of these provisions and the applicable penalties for offenses. This section also reviews the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act (FMSHA), including the elements of the offenses. A second section of the article analyzes criminal sanctions applicable to employment practices under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, which was enacted to eliminate labor conditions detrimental to the Nation's commerce and the general welfare of workers. The FLSA 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 a different wage for equal work; or using oppressive child labor. The FLSA also makes it unlawful for an employer to discharge or discriminate against an employee due to the employee's filing of a FLSA complaint or instituting a FLSA proceeding. A third section of the article discusses the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), which prohibits employers from making payments and loans to employees or labor organizations. The concluding section reviews section 501(c) of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, which prevents appropriations of union funds for non-union purposes. 268 notes


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