Blackjewel violated Kentucky law by failing to procure bond that would have covered wages

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(Photo: WYMT)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WJHL) – Kentucky labor officials say bankrupt coal operator Blackjewel LLC violated state law when it failed to post a performance bond which would have covered the cost of paying its workers.

According to state law, employers that haven’t been doing business in Kentucky for at least five years and are “engaged in construction work, or the severance, preparation, or transportation of minerals” are required to post a performance bond “to assure the payment of all wages due from the employer.”

RELATED: Protesting Harlan County miners say they ‘just want what they earned

The law requires the bond amount to be enough to cover four weeks of wages.

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet said in the statement Wednesday that Blackjewel failed to put forth such a bond and that action will be taken against the company.

Hundreds of Blackjewel employees had their paychecks bounce or be clawed back by their banks earlier this month. The company filed for bankruptcy protection on July 1 and suddenly ceased operations, leaving about 1,700 employees in Wyoming, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia out of work.

Dozens of miners and their supporters have been protesting the unpaid wages by blocking a loaded coal train from leaving a mine in Cumberland, Ky. The protest has been going on since Monday.

Related: CSX brokers deal with Blackjewel miners to take train engine

More Coverage:

#WeAreKY: Supporting Harlan's BlackJewel Coal Miners

HELP NEEDED Coal miners in Harlan County NEED our support after BlackJewel Mining left them without jobs and their most recent paychecks…With Love from Harlan and Harlan County Community Action Agency, Inc. are raising money to help these miners pay their bills, purchase groceries, and provide for other necessities. PLEASE consider showing your support for these families by helping these groups meet and exceed their fundraising goals.Let’s take care of each other. This is what being a family…what being a Kentuckian…is all about. #WeAreKYWithLovefromHarlan > > > https://www.gofundme.com/f/blackjewel-bankruptcy-victimsHarlan County CAA > > > https://www.gofundme.com/f/DonatetominersHarlanCAA

Posted by Governor Matt Bevin on Wednesday, July 31, 2019

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