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Employer penalties for employee death at work

If an employee dies while at work in Louisiana or elsewhere in the country, the extent of employer liability may be limited by state laws. However, there are some instances in which an employer can be held criminally liable if an employee dies on the job. This is true if the employer is charged under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

The OSH Act says that employers may be exposed to criminal liability if the employee's death was directly related to a willful health or safety violation. A willful violation is one that OSHA can show to be committed knowingly or with disdain for the health and safety of workers. Employers may also face criminal liability under state law. Penalties for violating the OSH Act include up to six months in jail or a $500,000 fine for corporate entities.

The fine is $250,000 for individuals. In some cases, these cases may be tried under environmental laws or laws related to perjury. This could lead to a prison sentence of up to 20 years. Felony convictions for violating state laws could also result in multiple years in prison and millions of dollars in fines. If a worker is hurt because of a willful violation, an employer could still be subject to large fines and other penalties.

Those who are hurt on the job may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. These benefits may pay for medical bills and other expenses as well as make up for some or all lost wages while out of work. If an injury occurs because of an employer's willful negligence, a worker may also be entitled to further damages. It may be a good idea for an injured worker to consult with an attorney to learn more about his or her rights.

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