At least six class action lawsuits have been filed against Alliance Coal by current and former mineworkers in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia. These employees are suing over unpaid wages for the off-the-clock time they spent putting on and removing the special clothing and protective equipment necessary for their work. The company failed to pay employees for the time they spent “donning and doffing” protective gear even though it was needed for them to do their jobs.
How Does This Case Affect Me?
If you work as a miner or a similarly labor-intensive job and are required to spend time off-the-clock donning and doffing protective gear needed for your work, you should contact We Stop Wage Theft to find out whether you are eligible to join a class action lawsuit for unpaid wages.
What Do the Cases Allege?
The lawsuit claims that Alliance Coal required its workers to show up prior to their shifts so that they would have enough time to put on the clothes needed for their work, such as boots, safety glasses, gloves, and helmets. By failing to compensate its workers for the time spent donning and doffing protective clothing and equipment, Alliance Coal allegedly cheated its employees out of their rightful pay.
The lawsuits also allege that Alliance Coal failed to properly compensate its workers for overtime. Employers must pay non-exempt workers one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay for all time in excess of 40 hours per week. Since Alliance Coal promised to pay its workers non-discretionary bonuses based on performance factors, it was required to include such bonus payments in calculating overtime. However, Alliance Coal failed to consider non-discretionary bonus compensation in calculating workers’ regular wage rate. As a result, plaintiffs allege that their overtime payments were too low.
Two of these lawsuits have already been conditionally certified as collective actions under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). As a result, workers who are similarly situated to the plaintiffs in these cases will receive notice of the pending lawsuit and the opportunity to join or “opt-in” to the action.
Attorneys from Edelson Lechtzin LLP are part of the team representing the Alliance Coal employees who are fighting to recover their unpaid wages. The cases are:
- Randy Branson, et al. v. Alliance Coal, LLC, et al., Civil Action No. 4:19-CV-00155-JHM (W.D. Kentucky);
- Freddie Brewer v. Alliance Coal, LLC, et al., Civil Action No. 7:20-cv-00041-DLB-EBA (E.D. Kentucky);
- Andrew Johnson, et al., v. Alliance Coal, LLC, et al., Civil Action No. 21-CI-157 (Hopkins County Circuit Court);
- Brian Prater v. Alliance Coal, LLC, et al., Civil Action No. 3:21-cv-00066-RLY-MPB (S.D. Indiana);
- Walter Rettig, et al., v. Alliance Coal, LLC, et al., Civil Action No. 2:21-cv-00008-TSK (N.D. West Virginia); and
- Rickey Cates v. Alliance Coal, LLC, et al., Civil Action No. 3:21-cv-00377 (S.D. Illinois).
Do I Have to Pay Attorney’s Fees?
No. We typically handle claims for unpaid wages on a contingent fee basis. In other words, your lawyer won’t get any fees unless they get a recovery for you.
If you have questions about the case or your employer has forced you to work off-the-clock please contact We Stop Wage Theft at 844-696-7492 or email us at [email protected] or fill out the form on this page.
We will promptly evaluate your claim and let you know whether you are eligible to participate in a lawsuit for unpaid wages.