Sports Direct chief executive David Forsey is facing legal action following the collapse of fashion retailer USC.
He is alleged to have broken rules about notifying authorities before laying off workers at a warehouse in Ayrshire.
Some 80 staff were given just 15 minutes notice that they were out of job as lorries arrived to take away stock.
The government’s Insolvency Service said: “We can confirm that criminal proceedings have been commenced against David Michael Forsey.
“He is charged with an offence contrary to section 194 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. We will not be commenting until the criminal proceedings have been concluded.”
The case will be heard at Chesterfield Magistrates Court on 14 October. The maximum penalty for the offence is £5,000.
After USC went into administration it was part back by another part of the Sports Direct Group which is majority owned by Rangers shareholder Mike Ashley.
Earlier this week a number of those workers affected won a case for compensation against Sports Direct at a tribunal.