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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kentucky Mine River View Coal Is Sued for Discrimination

The EEOC is suing on behalf of Black applicants who say they were passed over for whites.

By Naeesa Aziz

Posted: 09/27/2011

A Kentucky coal company faces allegations of racial discrimination in hiring, according to a lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of Black applicants.

The suit alleges that River View Coal denied jobs in underground mining positions to a class of qualified Black applicants because of their race. The claims stem back as far as 2008 when hiring began for a new mine in Waverly, Kansas. Thirteen rejected Black applicants filed claims with the EEOC after being rejected without being given any reason why.

“Employers must choose employees based on their qualifications, and not on the color of their skin,” said Laurie A. Young, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office.

The agency claims that the mine violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for making employment decisions based on race.

River View Coal, LLC is a subsidiary of Alliance Resource Partners, LP and is the fourth-largest Eastern U.S. coal producer.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Sues Trucking Company for Sidelining Alcoholic Truck Driver

As the actions of the federal government continue to spiral out of control -- with armed raids on Gibson Guitars, raids on Rawesome Foods and the assaulting of children's lemonade stands across America -- the insanity of government only becomes more apparent. In the latest example of regulations run amok, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is suing a trucking company called Old Dominion Freight Line for "violating federal law by discriminating against a truck driver."

In what way did the trucking company "violate federal law?" It sidelined a truck driver who was an admitted alcoholic!

The EEOC is now going to bring the full force of the federal government -- oops, I mean the "federal family" -- against this trucking company by making it reinstate the alcoholic truck driver so that he can cruise down the interstate at 70 miles per hour at the wheel of a twenty-ton rig loaded with who knows what.

This, you see, is the federal government "taking care of you."

Never mind the fact that most normal people would conclude that maybe people who are admitted alcoholics probably don't belong behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler on the interstate, but the federal government completely disagrees with that.

"Alcoholism is a recognized disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)," says the EEOC in a press release touting its lawsuit against the Old Dominion Freight Line "...and disability discrimination violates this federal law," it says. (

The complete co-opting of the ADA

The Americans With Disabilities Act, of course, was intended to provide equal work opportunities for people who are truly disabled such as Vietnam War veterans who are missing a leg, or someone who was born without the ability to see or hear. And for that purpose, the law arguably has merit. But no one in their right mind would say that having an all-too-cozy relationship with a case of Jack Daniels is a "disability." But that's the new political correctness in Washington, it seems.

While I agree that people with substance addictions absolutely deserve help and treatment, even the federal government violates that principle with marijuana: Instead of treating people who smoke too much pot as "pot-aholics" -- who should, under federal logic, be "protected" as being disabled -- they are arrested and prosecuted as criminals. So how is alcohol abuse a disability but pot abuse is a felony crime? Only the goons in Washington could come up with something that offensively contradictory and punitive.

Keeping the roads more dangerous for the rest of us

Common sense, of course, has been all but abandoned at the federal government. At what point did alcoholism grant truck drivers immunity from being fired, anyway? Obviously, people who have habits or physical disabilities that prevent them from safely operating a large vehicle should not be allowed to operate such vehicles on the roads. Someone who suffers from frequent seizures, for example, shouldn't be given a license to operate a freight truck. Their health condition is regrettable, but their right to drive with seizures does not outweigh the public's expectation of reasonable safety on the roads.

The federal government doesn't understand this commonsense logic, you see. If a seizure can be classified as a "disability," then the EEOC would sue trucking companies for removing seizure-stricken drivers from the road, too!

Got a drinking problem? Get a job at a trucking company. You can't be fired because your job is protected by the federal government! Just tell your boss you're an alcoholic, claim it's a "disability" and invoke the EEOC to threaten to sue your employer!

But if you work at Gibson Guitar making fine musical instruments out of wood imported from India, then you're suddenly a criminal according to the government, which raided the Gibson Guitar company and now demands they export American jobs overseas because it is illegal for U.S. workers to "process" that wood in America! Incredible...

Is my disability protected by the ADA, too?

Hey, I have a disability too (sarcasm). It's called common sense. It's some kind of weird disease that makes me think bizarre thoughts like maybe we shouldn't have alcoholics driving 18-wheelers down the interstate. My disability also makes me believe that "disabilities" means people who are physically challenged because of catastrophic injuries or birth defects (for example), not behavioral habits like biting your fingernails, or sleeping really late every day.

Under the fed's rules, someone could get a job at the U.S. Post Office, but show up late for work at 11 a.m. every day and claim they have a "sleeping disability" that causes them to sleep late. Is this a protected disability, too?

I say that all these made-up, fictitious, totally bogus "disabilities" are damaging the very concept of "disabled" and making circumstances more difficult for those who are truly disabled. I completely agree it is ethically and morally wrong to fire someone just because they happen to be in a wheelchair, for example, or if they have a hearing disability. If you're visually impaired, that's a legitimate disability and deserves extra consideration by your employer. But don't tell me that every guy who tips back a few too many beers is now suddenly "disabled" as well. It's ludicrous!

We need to grow up in America and stop acting like little children who need their nanny parental government to take care of everything. If someone has a drinking problem, they need to man up about it and take responsibility for their own behaviors, and the government needs to stop coddling them as some sort of "protected" class. Go get counseling. Visit AA meetings. Find a local pastor who can offer guidance. But don't run around like you're some sort of "disabled" person who is supposed to be protected by the federal government.

Drinking is a choice, not a disability. You can choose to do something different. Yes, it's hard. Yes, it takes therapy, or help from your friends, or whatever. Life is hard, but grow up. Be an adult. Take responsibility for your actions and make better choices. That's what adults do, y'know?

There are far too many people gaming the system for their own selfish reasons and thereby diluting the very definition of "disabled." In a similar way, let me relate to you a true story from my past:

How a white guy was awarded a black scholarship

When I was in college, I remember this white guy who lived down the hall in my dorm. He was a great card player and always seemed to come out on top of the late-night poker games that went on there (I never took part, but I saw them playing a lot). The reason I say he was a "white guy" is because toward the end of our first semester there, he revealed to a bunch of us sitting in the dorm lobby that he was paying his way through college with grant money he received from a black scholarship fund.

Huh? A black scholarship fund? But this guy was white, wasn't he? Well, it turns out his great, great, great grandma was black. So genetically speaking, he was "just enough black" to qualify for this scholarship, even though his skin color was as white as mine! In other words, the chance of this guy being discriminated against due to the color of his skin was zero, given that his skin was as white as all the other white guys there. In fact, when he announced he was paying for college on a black scholarship, nobody believed him at first. We thought he was joking.

But he wasn't. Turns out it was all true. And the point of this is that by applying for this "black scholarship" grant and taking the money, this white guy was effectively using money that should have legitimately gone to a black guy! As a result, some other truly black guy did NOT get that scholarship money and was therefore not able to pay his way through college.

So while our little friend technically claimed to be a black guy riding on a black scholarship, all the rest of us knew he was really a white guy who gamed the black scholarship fund application process and thereby took money out of the hands of some equally deserving black guy who was really black.

You see, while I honor and respect people who have true physical disabilities, or people who have been truly discriminated against for no reason other than the color of their skin, I absolutely abhor fakers who hide behind these protections to try to game the system and exploit situations for their own selfish gain, usually at the expense of someone else. The "white guy" who took black scholarship money was exploiting the system for his own selfish gain, not even considering the true intent of that scholarship fund. Likewise, someone who hides behind alcoholism as a protected disability is gaming the system, too. Sure, alcoholism is a real behavioral issue to deal with, but it's not like missing a leg, okay? It's not the same as growing up without the gift of functioning vision.

Much the same thing goes for those handicapped parking spaces. They should be reserved for people who truly cannot walk long distances, or who need wheelchairs to get around. Have you ever heard of people being awarded those handicapped parking tags for obscure conditions such as having Tourette's Syndrome? I don't know if that's ever actually happened outside a Larry David episode (Curb Your Enthusiasm), but I have seen people park in handicapped parking spaces and just waltz right into the store with no obvious disability whatsoever. Those spots should be reserved for people in wheelchairs, I say... or people who can barely walk, people on oxygen supplies, and so on.

We must discern the difference between real disability and clever excuse-making

If we are going to respect and honor the people with real disabilities in this country, we've got to stop coddling those with behavioral habits that are simply being relabeled as disabilities. Much the same thing goes on in psychiatric medicine, where normal behaviors of teenage boys are labeled "disorders" and then treated with dangerous mind-altering medications.

Having loads of energy and an inability to sit still isn't a "disease," folks. It's called being a 9-year-old boy!

It's time to cut the nonsense with bogus disabilities, false labels and government interference with the rational decisions made by employers. If an employer fires someone merely because they are in a wheelchair, that's discrimination against the disabled, and that deserves to be scrutinized. But if an employer fires an alcoholic to prevent them from driving big rigs down the road while sloshed over from too many drinks, that's just common sense. Maybe Old Dominion Freight Line was actually saving lives by sidelining this alcoholic driver, huh? Did the feds ever think of that?

Only in America are businesses which act out of a desire to protect public safety punished with federal lawsuits. Only in America are people with common sense labeled "terrorists" (i.e. Ron Paul supporters) while those with bad habits who eat too much or drink too much are labeled "disabled."

Let's save the labels for cases where they are truly justified, folks. There are millions of people in America with legitimate disabilities -- people who cannot walk, or who are missing an arm, or who are hearing or vision impaired, for example. They deserve society's support and protections, and we should make every effort (as employers or neighbors or just friends) to honor these people for who they are while offering assistance where needed.

And if you're white, please do not apply for black scholarships, for god's sake. Let that money go to its intended recipients.

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