Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

It's Not Just Financial Shenanigans That Can Mean Jailtime for Execs

Failing to make sure that workers are safe is becoming more and more a criminal as well as civil and administrative matter. Although perhaps not frequent enough to be a "trend," headlines such as Ex-water company head convicted in workers deaths, in the Yuma Sun, will undoubtedly make ripples in corner offices across the country.

The conviction on two counts of negligent homicide and two counts of endangerement followed the death of two workers and injury of a third in a sewer accident that occurred in October 2001. The company had already been found guilty, fined $1.7 million and ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution to the families of the two deceased workers.

The conviction of the former president was based on lack of safety equipment and lack of safety training for employees. According to the stepfather of one of the dead workers:
Maybe this will make sure the people with the big paychecks, fancy titles and perks will realize they can be held responsible. It’s really shameful when the bottom line is more important than people who work for the company.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 29th.

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