Federal Agency Claims Western Kentucky Coal Mine Denied Jobs to Black Applicants
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Kentucky coal mine violated federal law by denying employment to black applicants at its Union County, Ky., mine, according to a lawsuit filed (date) by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, a class of qualified black applicants were denied jobs in underground mining positions at River View Coal’s Waverly, Ky., mine since at least August 2008 because of their race.
Making employment decisions based on race violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (Case No. 4: 11-cv-117 ) in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Owensboro Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement. The agency is seeking back pay, compensatory and punitive damages against River View Coal, as well as other relief, including a permanent injunction to prevent the company from engaging in future hiring discrimination.
“Employers must choose employees based on their qualifications, and not on the color of their skin,” said Laurie A. Young, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office.
River View Coal, LLC is a subsidiary of Alliance Resource Partners, LP. According to the company website, Alliance is the fourth-largest eastern U.S. coal producer, operating nine mining complexes in three operating regions: Illinois Basin, Central Appalachia, and Northern Appalachia. Production began at the River View mine in 2009 and 5.9 million tons of coal was produced in 2010.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.