MSHA announced on September 25, 2013, the release of a new Guide for Miners' Representatives. According to MSHA, this Guide is a "comprehensive tool" that expands upon the Guide to Miners' Rights and Responsibilities, released in June 2011. Assistant Secretary Joseph A. Main stated "A good safety and health program depends upon the active participation and interest of everyone at the worksite. In order to help decrease workplace deaths, injuries, and illnesses, miners and their representatives must have sufficient knowledge of their rights so that they can fully and properly exercise them." MSHA provided more detailed information about: reporting hazardous conditions and imminent dangers, accident investigations, understanding the elements of discrimination under Section 105(c) of the Mine Act, health and safety training, petitions for modification of a safety standard, rights to information and records, civil penalties and requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
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 ...
Recently, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced what many mine operators and independent contractors have experienced for the past several years - a heightened focus on, and tremendous increase in, the number of discrimination complaints filed by MSHA. In fact, MSHA has tripled the number of temporary reinstatement requests and nearly doubled the number of discrimination complaints it filed over a three year period.