Former employee wins retaliation case against Maine producer

By |  December 9, 2013

Portable Pioneer Plant, a stone-crushing operation in Thomaston, Maine, will provide compensation to a former employee and take other corrective action to resolve a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor before the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.

According to an MSHA press release, the former employee, a general laborer at the stone-crushing plant, filed a complaint with MSHA in November 2011 alleging that the company had terminated his employment on Sept. 30, 2011, in retaliation for him having made recurring safety complaints. MSHA’s investigation found that the complainant had engaged in protected activity when he alerted the company about unresolved safety problems. Examples of this protected activity are the complainant’s refusal to turn on the plant’s generator until required safety guards had been installed and calling MSHA to report the company’s failure to install those safety guards.

As part of the settlement reached in the case, the former employee will receive $6,000 in back wages.

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Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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