Clear It With Sidney

Notes on journalism for the common good, by Lindsay Beyerstein

Whistle-Blowing Miner Wins Reinstatement

A federal judge has ordered a Kentucky coal company to reinstate an outspoken miner who blew the whistle on safety violations, Dave Jamieson reports:

Kentucky miner Charles Scott Howard lost his job at Cumberland River Coal Co. last May, after years of butting heads with management over safety issues at the mine. Now, more than 13 months later, Howard may suit up and head back into the mine, whether his employer likes it or not.

A federal judge ordered Friday that Howard’s company immediately reinstate him at the mine and pay a $30,000 fine for discriminating against a whistleblower. The sharply worded decision said managers at Cumberland River, as well as its parent company, coal giant Arch Coal, went to great lengths to find a reason to fire Howard after he brought his mine to the attention of federal safety officials. [HuffPo]

Howard is famous in coal country for his willingness to challenge unsafe working conditions. His exploits have even inspired a folk song.

[Photo credit: Tiggy, Creative Commons.]