Massey Energy, the Richmond-based company whose mine was the site of a disaster which killed 29 miners, is now under fire from an employee claiming that he was repeatedly abused and discriminated against because he is gay.
The lawsuit, which names individual defendants and a Massey subsidiary Spartan Mining Company, accuses the company of doing nothing to protect the employee from repeated threats and harassment. The complaint alleges that the employee was subjected to threatening notes and letters pinned to his car, and death threats against him because of his sexuality.
The employee, who still works as a coal miner, is concerned for his safety and simply wants to do his job without harassment from other workers. A representative for Massey acknowledged the suit, and stated that all coal miners preform a difficult and vital task, and should be free from discrimination. There was no further comment on the merits of the lawsuit, or on the hostile, anti-gay work environment alleged in the complaint.