There are many different federal labor laws in place that protect workers across the United States. For example, there are federal laws that ensure the right to collective bargaining and that prevent employers from retaliating against workers for engaging in collective bargaining activities.
There are also federal criminal laws that relate to labor as well. In particular, there are laws in place that impose harsh penalties – including imprisonment – on those who transport strike breakers.
If you have been accused of violating federal criminal laws related to labor, you need to make certain you have an experienced federal defense lawyer who can provide the support and advocacy you need as you fight charges. Being convicted of a federal crime can leave you facing harsh penalties and can leave you with a permanent criminal record that impacts your future opportunities. But, accusations do not mean conviction and with the right federal criminal defense lawyer, you may be able to avoid a guilty verdict or reduce penalties that you face.
LV Criminal Defense has extensive experience defending residents of California, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, and Utah who have been accused of federal crimes. To find out more about how our legal team can provide you with assistance if you’ve been accused of violating federal laws related to labor, give us a call today.
There are very few federal criminal laws that implicate labor issues, but the laws that do exist are found within 18 U.S. Code Chapter 57. There is one statute that remains valid and applicable in 18 U.S. Code Chapter 57. That statute is 18 U.S. Code section 1231, which relates to the transportation of strikebreakers. There used to be two statutes within Chapter 57, but 18 U.S. Code section 1232 was repealed.
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The remaining statute, 18 U.S. Code section 1231, identifies the specific federal offense of transportation of strike breakers.
According to the relevant law, it is unlawful to willfully transport strike breakers in interstate or foreign commerce. Because the offense requires the willful transport, a prosecutor would need to prove that a defendant acted knowingly and intentionally in violating the provisions of 18 U.S. Code section 1231.
The statute specifies exactly who it is unlawful to transport. It is unlawful to transport a person who is employed or who will be employed for the purposes of obstructing or interfering with peaceful picketing by using force or threats. The peaceful picketing must by conducted by employees during a labor controversy that affects wages, hours, or conditions of labor or it must involve employees. It is also unlawful under this statute to transport a person who is employed or who will be employed for purposes of obstructing or interfering with employees who are exercising any of the rights associated with employee organization or collective bargaining.
18 U.S. Code section 1231 not only defines the offense of willfully transporting strike breakers to interfere with employees who are exercising their lawful right to protest the conditions of employment or to engage in collective bargaining, but it also imposes penalties upon defendants who are convicted of violating the statute.
The penalties that are imposed upon a defendant if a prosecutor proves that the defendant willfully transported a strike breaker to make threats or use force to interfere with employees exercising their rights under labor law include a fine as well as imprisonment for a maximum of two years. Defendants convicted under 18 U.S. Code section 1231 could also be both fined and imprisoned if found guilty of a criminal offense involving transportation of strike breakers.
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The statute does, however, make clear that the law does not apply to common carriers. This means that if a bus, train, or driver-for-hire transported a strike breaker, the driver would not face criminal charges under the provisions of 18 U.S. Code section 1231.
Because this statute contains an intent element, a defendant also cannot be convicted unless the prosecutor can demonstrate the defendant acted willfully in transporting a strike breaker. It can often be challenging for prosecutors to prove what someone knew or why someone acted, so you may be able to avoid being convicted of this federal crime if the prosecutor is unable to prove that you acted willfully.
Determining exactly what the statute requires the prosecutor to prove is very important in this case and when you are facing any federal charges because if a prosecutor cannot prove any element of a criminal offense that is defined within the federal penal code, then a defendant should not be found guilty of violating federal law.
LV Criminal Defense understands how frustrating and worrisome it can be to face federal charges, especially in connection with the transportation of strikebreakers. Many people do not even realize they can face federal charges for this offense, and it can be a major burden to be forced to deal with an investigation and a prosecution that could lead to imprisonment or other serious consequences.
Our federal criminal lawyers have the knowledge, skill and experience to help you quickly and effectively resolve charges that could hurt your reputation and derail your future. We can assist you in understanding how the laws in 18 U.S. Code Chapter 57 apply to you and can help you to determine exactly what a prosecutor could need to prove to secure your conviction in connection with the transportation of strikebreakers.
We can also help you to gather evidence, develop a sound defense strategy, and work towards getting the most positive possible outcome through the negotiation of a plea agreement or through fighting in court for an acquittal. To find out more about how our federal criminal attorneys can help you if you live in California, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, or surrounding areas, give us a call today.