It is a figure of speech. Corporations are simply a collection of people. Sometimes a large collection and sometimes small S-Corps. The point is that whatever hurts the company will simply be passed on to those employed there and eventually the consumer whom they service. When a company goes out of business it clearly effects the lives of the employees. When a company is doing well and expanding, they commonly hire more people to service the need from increased aggregate demand. There is a simbient like relationship. Two attempt to seperate the two is some mythical utopia that many politicians like to perpetuate to demonize profitable entities. When in fact if a company is highly profitable and does so within the confines of the law, this should be applauded rather than demonized. Only a profitable entity creates new employment. Those same profits in public entities are passed on to shareholders, which in large numbers are pension funds, education endowments, 401k plans, charitable giving trusts...etc
While a company can't be put in Jail, employees can be. Many officers of companies have been imprisoned for illegal activity. Ask Dennis Koslowski from Tyco. However, a company can be fined. That is common as well. Sometimes rightfully so and sometimes as a form of extortion.
To single out banks is a convienent scape goat in the recent financial crisis. However, let us not forget that it was the Federal Gov't that manipulated the housing market for more than 30 years. Particularly the last 2 decades in the MBS market through artificial demand and liquidity created by the GSE's and produced this unsustainable housing bubble. They bought up anything the banks would issue until the GSE's collapsed. Then blamed the banks for issuing the securities that the Federal Gov't told them to issue so they could buy them up. All to support the false notion that everyone should own a home, regardless of financial resources or personal responsibility.