Complaints Allege Mine Foreman Engages in "Inappropriate Sexually-Based Conduct"

By: Jon Sonnheim Email
By: Jon Sonnheim Email

Some are calling it vulgar sexual behavior... while others are saying it was meant as a joke.

Now, sexual harassment charges have been filed by two Letcher county miners alleging their former supervisor created a hostile work environment.

The complaints include "grabbing men in the crotch area, poking them in the tail, and kissing them..." in a response from the Cumberland River Coal Company, to two Letcher county miners who through their attorney said they were fed up with inappropriate behavior and a hostile work environment.

On Friday, miners Charles Scott Howard and Ralph Shuffler filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the Cumberland River Coal Company and the Band Mill Number Two Mine they still work for.

They say officials didn't take enough action on their previous grievances and complaints that supervisor Norman Dolling was engaging in "inappropriate sexually-based conduct" for more than a year.

"His contact was so inappropriate, and it occurred so frequently, that it poisoned the entire work atmosphere." says the men's attorney Tony Oppegard.

We were unable to reach Norman Bolling today, but in a July response to the complaints, he said that he was joking. Something echoed by several of his fellow miners we spoke with on Monday.

Oppegard says Norman Bolling no longer works for the Cumberland River Coal Company which had no comment on Monday.

We also like to remind you that a lawsuit only represents one side of the story.

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