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Mark Farley Comments on Aggressive Prosecution Trends in Worker Safety Cases

Firm News | July 23, 2018

Environmental and Workplace Safety head Mark Farley was quoted in a Bloomberg Environment article regarding law enforcement's growing commitment to prosecuting employers that flout worker safety laws. Mark stated, "Criminal penalties for intentional violations of safety laws can be appropriate and serve as an effective deterrent. Criminalization of workplace incidents accidents can have unintended consequences, however." One impact is discouraging employees from sharing what they believed happened out of fear of becoming subjects or targets of a criminal investigation. He added that Katten's office is currently handling several criminal prosecutions for clients involving potential safety violations. "The threat of criminal investigations can undercut safety by causing people to stop talking and lawyer up. Effective learning from incidents requires open and honest communication among everyone involved." ("Local Prosecutors Getting More Aggressive on Worker Safety Cases," July 18, 2018)

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