Saving Lives Through Shaming
9 Harvard Business Law Review Online 57 (2019)
12 Pages Posted: 23 May 2019
Date Written: May 2, 2019
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) routinely employs shaming tactics toward employers, using public denunciations disseminated through social media, press releases, and online databases. These tactics, termed by the agency “regulation by shaming,” aim to name and shame companies into compliance with worker-safety regulations. In the face of heavy criticism of this practice, as well as legislative initiatives that aim to scale back OSHA’s regulation by shaming, this Article argues not only that shaming employers is an important regulatory tool that can help save workers’ lives, but also that OSHA’s “provocative” shaming tactics are in fact soft in comparison to other forms of regulatory shaming, and should be amplified.
Keywords: occupational safety, shaming, regulation, health, OSHA, CSR, regulatory shaming, beyond-compliance, Department of Labor, employers, employees, social media, private enforcement, Twitter, online database, administrative law, regulatory agency, corporate social responsibility
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