MSHA discrimination complaints reach record high in 2014

By |  January 28, 2015

In 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) filed 49 discrimination complaints, which is more than any other year. The complaints, filed with FMSHRC, involved allegations of discrimination made by miners in the form of a discharge, suspensions or other adverse action, says MSHA.

In addition, MSHA also filed 45 complains in 2014 requesting temporary reinstatement of miners, which is the second highest number ever filed.

According to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, a miner cannot be discharged, discriminated against or interfered with in the exercise of statutory rights because he or she has engaged in a protected activity such as filing a complaint alleging a health or safety violation, or refusing to work under unsafe or unhealthy conditions.

MSHA reported an increased number of complaints after increasing educational efforts. The administration’s report, “A Guide to Miners’ Rights and Responsibilities Under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977,” has helped educate miners about their rights in the workplace.

“The Mine Act provides miners the right to a safe and healthy workplace and protects them if they suffer unlawful retaliation for exercising those rights,” says Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “These—along with unlawful interference in the exercise of their rights—are critical protections for miners, and MSHA will not hesitate to see those rights are enforced.”

Allison Kral

About the Author:

Allison Kral is the former senior digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Portable Plants magazine, GPS World magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.

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