River View Coal LLC, which is a unit of Alliance Resource Partners LP (NASDAQ: ARLP), will pay a total of $245,000 to a class of African-American applicants and furnish other relief to settle a discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced Sept. 26.
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 August 2008. The EEOC had filed suit in the 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 EEOC noted. 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 work 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.
River View Coal is a relatively new mining operation located on an old CONSOL Energy mining property in western Kentucky. “River View Coal, LLC operates the River View mine, which is an underground continuous mining complex located near Morganfield in Union County, Kentucky,” said the Alliance website. “Production began at River View in 2009 utilizing continuous-mining units employing room-and-pillar mining techniques and today River View is the largest mine of its type in the nation. River View’s preparation plant has a throughput capacity of 1,800 tons of raw coal per hour.”
U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data shows that the River View mine produced 4.7 million tons in the first half of this year and 8.6 million tons in all of 2012.