Alpha hit with six discrimination suits

By The West Virginia Record | Jun 16, 2015


MADISON – Six lawsuits have been filed against Alpha Natural Resources after the plaintiffs claim they were discriminated against.

AlphaNaturalResourcesRepublic Energy Inc., Alpha Natural Resources Services, Elite Coal Services LLC and James Wood III were also named as defendants in the suit.

James Shawn Bodkin, John Baldwin, Brent Varney, Devon Underwood, Christopher Neff and Chad Hanks were employed by the defendants and during their employment they performed their duties in a satisfactory manner and met the defendants' reasonable expectations, according to six complaints filed in Boone Circuit Court.

On Nov. 1, 2013, the defendants willfully, maliciously and unlawfully terminated the plaintiff from his employment and did not provide the plaintiffs with a WARN notice pursuant to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs claim they were provided with a letter on Nov. 1, 2013, announcing a reduction in force at Republic Energy due to adverse market conditions, which decreased demand for coal.

The defendants filled their positions with much younger contractor employees by Elite, who were later hired as full-time employees by Alpha, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants discriminated against them because of their ages and retaliated against them, which caused them indignity, embarrassment and humiliation.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre-judgment interest. They are being represented by Stephen P. New and Amanda G. Taylor; and Mark A. Atkinson and John-Mark Atkinson of Atkinson & Polak.

Boone Circuit Court case number: 15-C-90, 15-C-91, 15-C-92, 15-C-93, 15-C-94, 15-C-95

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