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Foresight mines to pay $4.25M to settle sex discrimination suits

A group of mining companies owned by Foresight Energy LP have agreed to pay $4.25 million to settle two sex discrimination lawsuits.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the lawsuits on behalf of women who were denied jobs in coal production positions at Mach Mining LLC and other Foresight coal mines since at least 2006.

As part of a consent decree agreed to by all parties on Jan. 25, Foresight also agreed to offer one of every three new surface or underground mining positions to female applicants, which is expected to result in at least 34 women being hired into coal production jobs in their Illinois mines.

The decree requires Foresight to enact policies banning sexual harassment and discrimination on the basis of sex, to report its compliance to the EEOC on a regular basis and to maintain the target number of female employees for the three years the decree is in effect.

"Foresight Energy LP confirms it has resolved all federal lawsuits against it and several of its subsidiaries with no admission of liability, filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), alleging hiring discrimination based upon gender at its five mines," Foresight's senior corporate counsel and director of investor and media relations, Gary Broadbent, told S&P Global Market Intelligence in a statement. "Foresight remains an equal opportunity employer and will continue to ensure that its policies, practices, training and recruiting efforts promote diversity and equality."