“It is always one’s moral duty to speak up when doing so could save lives.”
Begin forwarded message from Public Citizen:
“Corporations should not be allowed get away with murder. But when corporate bosses suppress facts about the life-and-death risks their products pose to consumers (or their worksites pose to employees), very rarely are corporate decision-makers held accountable when the worst occurs.
A new piece of legislation introduced this week by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) would change that.
Introduced in response to the inexcusably delayed General Motors recalls, the Hide No Harm Act — which was written with substantial input from Public Citizen — would impose criminal penalties on corporate bosses who withhold information that could result in consumer or worker deaths or injuries.
Under current law, corporate executives have no affirmative duty to certify that all risks posed to consumers or workers have been disclosed.
Appallingly, prosecutions for suppressing information can occur only when the suspected corporate criminal is the subject of a federal investigation — too often, in the aftermath of a tragedy such as the 13 deaths blamed on General Motors’ faulty ignition switches.
It is always one’s moral duty to speak up when doing so could save lives.
But apparently that’s not enough for executives who weigh the impact of bad publicity and lost profits against honesty about risks.
With passage of the Hide No Harm Act, corporate bosses responsible for suppressing life-saving information will face up to five years behind bars.
Such tough penalties will encourage those who might otherwise put profits before public safety to speak out, thus saving lives and preventing future tragedies.
Holding corporate criminals accountable and keeping consumers and workers safe are ideas every member of Congress should be able to get behind, regardless of party.
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