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Mine Company Sued for Religious Discrimination

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Murray Energy Corp. is being sued by a Price coal miner for refusing to accommodate his religious beliefs.

In a federal lawsuit, Willie Lee Ellington says Murray Energy, Utah American Energy, Inc., Utah-based West Ridge Resources, Inc. and five other unidentified defendants retaliated against him for requesting accommodations for his faith as a Seventh-day Adventist.

Ellington says in court documents filed yesterday that his religion forbids him from working between sundown Friday and sundown Saturday.

Court documents show that Ellington worked at the West Ridge Mine and Tower Mine for 19 years and his bosses gave him Saturdays off from work.

However, in August 2006, the mines were bought by Murray Energy. When the company took over, Ellington says Murray became "hostile" to his requests for continued accommodation for his religion.

Officials of Utah American Energy Inc. and Murray Energy Corp. could not be reached for comment.

Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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