CHARLESTON -- A coalmine employee is suing his employer after being laid off without a reason.


John Buckley filed a lawsuit March 5 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Maple Coal Co. L.L.C. and manager Tom Cooper, citing human rights violations.

The lawsuit states Buckley was hired in September 2010 as a fire boss. He accidentally swallowed his partial denture on Sept. 4, 2011, and had to be out of work for medical complications through March 8, 2012. He provided his bosses with medical excuses, applied and received short-term disability benefits., and returned to work.

After two days at work, Buckley got a message the mines would be idle and was then contacted and told he was being laid off, the complaint said. Many of those laid off had been off work for medical reasons, the complaint said.

Buckley is seeking lost wages and benefits, back pay, front pay, damages for indignity, embarrassment, humiliation, annoyance, inconvenience and emotional distress and punitive damages to be determined by jury, pre and post-judgment interest, court costs, injunctive relief and other relief as the court deems just.

Buckley is being represented by Todd S. Bailess of Bailess Law P.L.L.C. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case No. 14-C-465

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