281-A:25-a Reinstatement of Employee Sustaining Compensable Injuries.
I. An employee of an employer who employs 5 or more employees, who has sustained an injury, shall be reinstated by the employer to the employee's former position of employment upon request for such reinstatement, if the position exists and is available and the employee is not disabled from performing the duties of such position, with reasonable accommodations for the employee's limitations. For the purposes of this section an employee's former position is "available" even if that position has been filled by a replacement while the injured employee was absent. If the former position has been eliminated, the employee shall be reinstated in any other existing position which is vacant and suitable with reasonable accommodations for the employee's limitations. A certificate by the employee's attending physician that the physician approves the employee's return to the employee's regular employment with reasonable accommodations for the employee's limitations, shall be prima facie evidence that the employee is able to perform such duties. Reinstatement under this section shall be subject to the provisions for seniority rights and other employment restrictions contained in a valid collective bargaining agreement between the employer and a representative of the employer's employees.
II. Notwithstanding paragraph I of this section:
(a) The right to reinstatement to the employee's former position under this section terminates when any one of the following events occurs:
(1) A medical determination by the attending physician or finding by the commissioner that the employee cannot return to the former position of employment.
(2) The employee accepts employment with another employer.
(3) Eighteen months from the date of injury.
(b) The right to reinstatement under this section shall not apply to:
(1) An employee hired on a temporary basis as a replacement for an injured employee.
(2) An employee whose employer employs 4 or fewer employees at the time of the employee's injury and at the time of the employee's demand for reinstatement.
(3) An employee employed on a construction project, when the project is completed.
III. The right to reinstatement shall not be forfeited if the employee refuses to return to the employee's regular or other offered employment without release to such employment by the employee's attending physician.
IV. The commissioner may assess employers in violation of this section all weekly wage benefits retroactive to the date the injured employee was eligible for reinstatement.
Source. 1994, 3:6, eff. Feb. 8, 1994.