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Posts in FMSHRC Decisions.

On December 23, 2013, the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission ("Commission") issued its decision in a case resulting from the explosion that occurred at the Sago Mine in 2006. MSHA alleged that the mine operator's failure to immediately notify (within 15 minutes) MSHA of the accident (as required by 30 C.F.R. § 50.10). The dispute in this case was whether the Inspector's designation of high negligence and unwarrantable failure was ...

UPDATE: On August 1, 2013, the full Senate by unanimous consent confirmed Robert F. Cohen Jr. and William I. Althen to serve on teh Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.

First of all, yes, I'm telling you that (at least in most cases) suing your former employees may not be the best labor relations strategy, unless of course they are violating a valid non-compete or misappropriating your Company's trade secrets. Recently, a coal company learned that suing a former employee for filing a "fraudulent" discrimination complaint can be a violation of the Mine Act.

In Armstrong Coal Company, Judge Feldman found that the Mine Act ...

Mine operators have long relied on the protections of a limited liability company ("LLC") status to shield their individual agents from business-related liability. However, based on a decision from the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (FMSHRC), MSHA can now seek civil and criminal penalties against individual agents of LLC's under Section 110(c) of the Mine Act.

Medical records are generally considered to be private information--protected from disclosure by federal and/or state law--but that didn't stop the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals from deciding that MSHA has the authority to review miners' medical and personnel records.

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