Testing for Interference in MSHA 105(c) Discrimination Cases

The legal basis of interference is in Section 105(c)(1) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act (“Mine Act”) –  “No person shall discharge or in any manner discriminate against . . . or otherwise interfere with the exercise of the statutory rights of any miner.”  30 U.S.C. §815(c)(1).  The interference test has developed into a two-part evaluation of an operator’s reaction to protected activity or treatment of miners’ rights.  The real question is whether MSHA must show if an operator’s actions were motivated by protected activity or were intended to interfere with miners’ rights to establish an interference claim.  

Read more