Being a Whistleblower

If you are an employee of any coal mining company that violates work safety and/or environmental regulations, we urge you to contact one or more of the following state and federal departments:

Work safety violations:

WV Office of Miners’ Health Safety & Training – Anonymous Mine Safety Tips/Safety Complaints: (877) 344-9757
Coal Mine Safety and Health hazard complaint hotline: (800) 746-1553
Coal Mine Safety and Health District 4 office (southern West Virginia): (304) 877-3900
Coal Mine Safety and Health District 3 office (northern West Virginia): (304) 225-6800

Contact information for your local Coal Mine Safety and Health field office can be found here.

Environmental violations:

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Division of Mining and Reclamation: (304) 926-0490
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection emergency hotline: (800) 642-3074
Environmental Protection Agency Region 3 office: (800) 438-2474
Environmental Protection Agency emergency hotline: (800) 424-8802

More information on reporting environmental violations can be found here.

Further, we urge you to contact local and national media sources with information regarding the violations.  If you have questions about how to do this, please email [email protected]

Whistle-blowers are protected from retaliation under both state and federal law.  If you are punished or discriminated against in any way for reporting safety or environmental violations, contact: [email protected]

Federal law:

The Occupational Safety and Health Act Regional Office grants federal protection to all whistle-blowers.  If you face punishment and/or any form of workplace discrimination for whistle-blowing, you can file a complaint with your local Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) administration office.

Area OSHA office (Charleston): (304) 347-5937
Region 3 OSHA office (Philadelphia): (215) 861-4900

More information on the federal Whistleblower Protection Program can be found here.

State law:

Section 21-3A-13 of the West Virginia State Code states:

“No employer may discharge or in any manner discriminate against any employee because the employee has filed any complaint, instituted or caused to be instituted or participated in any proceedings under or related to this article, has testified or is about to testify in any such proceedings or has exercised on behalf of himself or others any right afforded by this article.”

Under West Virginia law, if you are fired or discriminated against for whistle-blowing, you are entitled to file a complaint with the labor commissioner.  The commissioner is legally required to investigate your complaint, and if the commissioner finds that you have been improperly punished, the Kanawha circuit court can rule that you are entitled to rehiring and back pay.

Labor Commissioner David Mullins: (304) 558-7890 (extension 124)

For additional questions and/or if you would like assistance filing a complaint, contact: [email protected]