Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review

Article Title

What Can We Do?


What can be done to better protect American workers? Jonathan Karmel argues that various measures designed to protect American workers are inadequate and proposes solutions to deter safety violations. Karmel discusses some of the failures of the legal and Workers Compensation systems. In his criticism of the Workers Compensation system, Karmel argues that the system is deeply flawed and explains why it requires a national overhaul. He also advocates for enhanced civil penalties and criminal prosecutions to protect American workers and discusses how the civil penalties in OSHA and the possible criminal sentences are inadequate as a meaningful deterrence of safety violations. To illustrate this point, Karmel discusses a high profile case involving an explosion in a West Virginia coal mine that killed 29 workers and led to the subsequent prosecution of the company's CEO.