Coal miner files suit against Hamilton Co. mine after layoffs

Coal miner files law suit after layoffs at Hamilton Co. Coal
Published: Mar. 9, 2016 at 9:48 AM CST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2016 at 3:37 PM CST
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HAMILTON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - A southern Illinois miner filled a class action suit against the Alliance Resource Partners, L.P., and Hamilton County Coal, LLC.

Carl Leeper of Franklin County, accuses the company of failing to provide the required 60-day advanced notice of layoffs in February.

On Friday, Feb. 5 Hamilton County Coal, LLC announced the temporary layoffs of around 200 employees.

According to a release from Leeper's attorney, this "mass termination" is a violation of the WARN Act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) and deprived "hundreds of fired workers and their families some transition time to adjust to the prospective loss of employment, to seek and obtain alternative jobs."

Leeper, a full-time employee, has worked at Hamilton County Coal Mine for the past three years, and according to his attorney, he and his co-workers were given less than a 24-hour notice of the termination and all benefits would also be gone on the day of termination.

Leeper's suit not only asks for action taken for himself, but also on behalf of roughly 200 co-workers that were also laid off.

"I know a lot of these workers, their spouses, their kids, their churches," Leeper said. "I know why they showed up every day risking their lives in this dangerous job. They did it to provide."

As a part of the suit, Leeper is asking for back pay, benefits and attorneys' fees as provided under the WARN Act.

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