Lexington Herald Leader photo of JRL Coal Sign

Longtime coal miners’ lawyer Tony Oppegard ’80 is in the news again for his representation of a Kentucky coal miner.

“Federal law gives miners the right refuse to work in unsafe conditions, said Lexington attorney Tony Oppegard who represents Rice along with attorney Wes Addington of the Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center in Whitesburg.

Mr. Rice’s case is a classic work refusal case, as well as a classic case of discrimination,” said Oppegard, a former federal and state mine-safety official. “We believe he will win his case and win permanent reinstatement to his former job.”

Oppegard said it takes courage for miners to stand up for their safety rights and risk getting fired given how few coal jobs remain in Eastern Kentucky and Appalachia.”

Read the full Lexington Herald Ledger article (sub. req).

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