Former employee sues Alpha Natural Resources, alleges discrimination

By Joel Brakken | Nov 1, 2013


BECKLEY - A man is suing his employer after he was allegedly not allowed to go back to his position as an AMS Operator following AN absence due to health issues.

Buren Payne filed a lawsuit Oct. 21 in Raleigh County Circuit Court against Alpha Natural Resources Services LLC, Alex Energy Inc. and Mammoth Coal Company, citing age discrimination.

Payne says he was employed by the defendants and that in 2013, he suffered health issues and was forced to go off work.

He says that on June 4, he was able to return to work with certain restrictions, and when he returned he was informed he could not return to his former position as an AMS Operator.

The complaint alleges the defendants informed Buren that an AMS Operator would be required to go underground two times per year, although Buren claims no area of his work required him to go underground and it was not a previous job requirement until he attempted to return to work.

According to the complaint, after being released from active treatment, Buren was unable to receive short term disability and he was discriminated in his employment because of his age.

Buren is seeking an undisclosed amount of compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented in the case by attorney Greg A. Hewitt of Hewitt & Salvatore PLLC.

Circuit Court of Raleigh County Civil Action No. 13-C-865

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