Gay Miner Sues for Sexual Harassment

An openly gay miner in W. Va. has sued Massey Energy Co. for failing to protect him from coworkers’ abuse

CHARLESTON, W.Va.—An openly gay coal miner has filed a sexual harrassment lawsuit against a Massey Energy Co. subsidiary, based on claims that the company failed to protect him from abuse by coworkers.

Sam Hall says in the suit filed in Kanawha County Circuit Court that he was a victim of  repeated anti-gay verbal abuse and offensive gestures, and his car was vandalized at various Massey mines between 2005 and 2010. According to the Associated Press, the lawsuit names Massey’s Spartan Mining Co. and a foreman at a Kanawha County mine as defendants.

“The sexual harassment faced by Mr. Hall is pervasive and persistent and includes acts by top management which have not been properly or effectively dealt with by Defendant Spartan Mining Company and its management,” Hall’s lawsuit states.

The new lawsuit adds to Massey Energry Co.’s ongoing legal troubles: The company faces contined investigations into an April explosion that led to the deaths of 29 miners.

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