Fighting for Workers
in the Heart of Appalachia
Practicing labor & employment law, black lung benefits, and more

Our Practice Areas


    Were you not paid everything that you've earned?

  • Wages, Benefits, or Commissions Unpaid
  • Minimum Wage Unpaid
  • Overtime Unpaid
  • Tipped Workers Paid Wrong
  • Are You Called an Independent Contractor?

    Are you not receiving the benefits that you earned and expected?

  • Poor performance of 401(k)
  • Healthcare problems
  • Life insurance problems
  • Other retiree benefit problems

  • Identity-Based Discrimination (race, sex, age, religion, etc.)
  • People in Recovery. If you are not currently engaged in the illegal use of drugs, but you face discrimination or are fired from a job because of a history or misperceptions about your addiction, you may have rights to be restored to your job.
  • Are you facing stigma at work about your history of addiction? 
  • Did your employer refuse a reasonable accommodation that would have helped you succeed with long-term recovery?

  • Injured or sickened through your work 
  • Suffering from Black Lung Disease?
  • Whistleblower:
  • Concerned about safety or health at work? 
  • Did you report unsafe or unhealthy conditions, and suffer retaliation from your employer?  
  • Union or non-union, you may have rights to speak up!
  • Contact us!

About Petsonk PLLC

Lawyer Sam B. Petsonk

“If you don’t fight, you can’t win!”

Sam Petsonk has spent his career challenging injustices in the courts and the legislature. 
Sam has won game-changing results for countless workers across West Virginia and Appalachia. 
Sam Petsonk’s legal work has secured millions of dollars in wages and benefits for coal miners and other workers across West Virginia, and assisted thousands of miners following layoffs in the coal industry. Petsonk has consistently been named as a “Rising Star” by
Petsonk is the past president of the West Virginia Employment Lawyers Association. In 2013, he received the prestigious Skadden Fellowship to launch the Miner Safety and Health Project at Mountain State Justice, a nonprofit legal services program representing underserved West Virginians. 

Petsonk previously worked as a legislative assistant for the late U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd and Senator Carte Goodwin in Washington, DC. In addition to his legal work, he is engaged in various community and economic development projects. Petsonk earned his law degree from Washington & Lee University (2013) and his college degree in geography at Brandeis University (2006). He is married and lives with his wife and two sons in Fayette County.
  Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia (2014)
Southern District of West Virginia (2014)
  Northern District of West Virginia (2016)  
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (2017)
Professional Memberships
West Virginia Employment Lawyers Association
National Employment Lawyers Association
West Virginia Association for Justice

Visit for comprehensive online resources about your workplace rights...

Call Petsonk today for a free consultation!

Let the workers organize. Let the toilers assemble. Let their crystallized voice proclaim their injustices and demand their privileges. Let all thoughtful citizens sustain them, for the future of Labor is the future of America.

John L. Lewis

UMW President

Miner participation is essential to the integrity of the inspection process, for only those who work in the mine and are familiar with the day to day operations, are likely to have knowledge of the possible location of safety and health hazards. ... However, the purpose of the statutes would be seriously compromised if the [regulators] permit operators to retaliate against miners who aid in the enforcement of the law.

Justice Darrell V. McGraw Jr.