August 15, 2012


Sixth Circuit Reverses Review Commission in Employment Discrimination Case

The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission’s decision that temporary reinstatement in an MSHA employment discrimination case under the Mine Act continues after the Secretary of Labor determines that no Mine Act violation occurred.

In reversing, the 6th Circuit stated “The instant case presents the issue of first impression of whether the Mine Act mandates than an employee’s temporary reinstatement continue after the Secretary determines that his complaint lacks merit.  We hold that the Mine Act does not require such continued temporary reinstatement.”

The case has been recommended for full text publication, and was submitted by Timothy W. Gresham at Penn, Stuart & Eskridge, Abingdon, VA.

EMLF and RMMLF Mine Safety and Health Law Special Institute September 22

The North Fork Coal case and other mine safety and health law litigation and regulation will be covered during the Saturday, September 22 program at the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel.

The Energy & Mineral Law Foundation and the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation are co-sponsoring a one-day Mine Safety & Health Law program in conjunction with the National Mining Association’s 2012 MINExpo International in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The lunch speaker will be Aric M. Pryor, President, Matrix Design Group, LLC, Newburgh, IN, giving an informative presentation on proximity detectors and their use in underground coal mines.  Held the Saturday before MINExpo opens at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Mine Safety & Health Law Special Institute will be at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel and is chaired by Daniel W. Wolff, Crowell & Moring LLP.

EMLF and RMMLF members can register through September 8 for $425. Registration fee includes all meeting materials on CD, continental breakfast and breaks, and hosted luncheon.

Programs topics include the backlog of cases at the Federal Mine Safety & Health Review Commission and what is being done to address the problem; criminal enforcement update; “flagrant” violations under the MINER Act; panel discussion covering new regulations — from financial and SEC reporting obligations to a litany of safety and health standards; MSHA’s authority to obtain access to documents and information from mine operators that they are not required maintain either under the Mine Act or MSHA regulation; discrimination under the Mine Act and a miner’s right to temporary reinstatement; the burden of proof for “significant and substantial” violations; and MSHA’s increased use of policy documents for enforcement purposes.

Speakers are drawn from industry, the private bar, the Office of the Solicitor of Labor, USDOL, and the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.  The program is accredited for approximately 6.5 hours of Continuing Legal Education credit in 60-minute states and 7.9 CLE credits in states calculating 50 minutes for an hour of CLE credit.

For complete information and online registration, go to the EMLF website.

Join EMLF!

Membership in the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation is open to anyone who is concerned with issues pertaining to the energy industry.

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