$245,000 Settlement in Race Discrimination Lawsuit Against Coal Mining Company

Friday, September 27, 2013

River View Coal, LLC, will pay a total of $245,000 to a class of African-American applicants and furnish other relief to settle a class race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, River View Coal excluded a class of African-American applicants from coal mining jobs at its Waverly, Ky., facility since Aug. 1, 2008.

Race discrimination in hiring violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The EEOC filed suit (4:11-cv-00117-JHM-HBB) in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. 

The consent decree settling the suit provides that the settlement proceeds will be distributed to a class of applicants.  The decree requires River View Coal to report on its hiring for two years.  The company will be prohibited from engaging in future discrimination against African-American employees or applicants and from retaliating against applicants or employees who exercise their rights to complain about discrimination or assist in an investigation or discrimination-related proceeding.  River View Coal will also post a notice of non-discrimination at its facility and train its hiring managers and employees involved in the hiring process.  The company will also endeavor to increase its racial diversity in the workforce by advertising all open underground positions throughout the duration of the decree with the Marion, Ill., employment services office, the Harrisburg, Ill., WorkNet office and the unemployment offices that serve Union County, Ky., and Vanderburgh County, Ind.

According to company information, River View Coal is a subsidiary of Alliance Resource Partners LP, the third-largest eastern United States coal producer.  Alliance operates 10 coal mines in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Maryland. 

Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, especially class-based recruitment and hiring practices that discriminate against racial, ethnic and religious groups, older workers, women, and people with disabilities, is one of six national priorities identified by the EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP). 

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