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Employment Law Litigation White Collar Crime

Employers Must Be Mindful of Pay Practices, As Criminal Charges for Underpayment of Workers Becomes Increasingly Common

Hillary Clinton's 2015 statement about the possibility of incarceration for employment-related failures was, to many, an alarming prospect. Since that time, this movement has grown, and has recently gained momentum. Today, prosecutors across the country increasingly seek criminal fines and jail time for what were previously seen as non-criminal labor violations.

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In 2015, speaking at a Labor Day campaign event, former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told a crowd, “I’m going to make sure that some employers go to jail for wage theft.” “Clinton: I’ll jail some employers for wage theft,” CNN (Sept. 8, 2015). Her statement was shocking to some at the time, raising the possibility of incarceration for employment-related failures that had traditionally been viewed as primarily the province of private civil litigation or regulatory enforcement. Jailing an employer for, say, failing to provide sufficient fringe benefits on a government-funded job was, to many, an alarming prospect.

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