River View Coal to Pay $245,000 to Settle EEOC Race Discrimination Suit

Company Excluded a Class of African-American Applicants From Jobs, Federal Agency Charged

INDIANAPOLIS - 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), the agency announced today.

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.

"Addressing allegations of hiring discrimination is an EEOC priority, and I am delighted that a resolution has been reached," said EEOC Indianapolis Regional Attorney Laurie A. Young.  

Indianapolis District Director Webster Smith echoed the sentiment and indicated that he was pleased that the EEOC charge process resulted in the resolution of the claims in this case.

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). 

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency's web site at www.eeoc.gov.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) | Attorney Advertising

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