Report: Blackjewel didn’t comply with state law protecting miners from cold paychecks

coal miner
Priest donates to miners affected by Blackjewel bankruptcy

HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Blackjewel LLC violated a state law by not posting a bond to cover the cost of paying its employee.

Blackjewel issued paychecks to its miners just days before declaring bankruptcy. Those checks bounced.

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According to the Herald-Leader, Sam Petsonk, a West Virginia attorney representing former Blackjewel miners, says had Blackjewel complied with state law, there could have been money in place to cover the miners’ last two paychecks.

Petsonk tells the newspaper that failing to post the bond was among several ways Blackjewel ignored regulatory obligations.

Blackjewel filed for bankruptcy July 1, leaving around 1,1000 miners in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia without a job.

The Labor Cabinet is working with the federal Department of Labor on getting access to miners’ 401(k) accounts and issued subpoenas to Blackjewel for payroll information.