The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 643b. Reinstatement; seniority and benefits protected
(a) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Employer" shall be defined as provided in section 601 of this title provided that this section shall only apply to employers who regularly employ at least 10 employees of whom at least 10 work more than 15 hours per week.
(2) "Recovery" means that the worker can reasonably be expected to perform safely the duties of his or her prior position or an alternative suitable position.
(b) The employer of a worker disabled by an injury compensable under this chapter shall reinstate the worker when his or her inability to work ceases provided recovery occurs within two years of the onset of the disability. A worker who recovers within two years of the onset of the disability shall be reinstated in the first available position suitable for the worker given the position the worker held at the time of the injury.
(c) Upon reinstatement a worker shall regain seniority and any unused annual leave, personal leave, sick leave, and compensatory time he or she was entitled to prior to the interruption in employment, less any leave and compensatory time used during the period of interruption.
(d) The provisions of this section shall not apply if:
(1) the worker had been given notice, or had given notice, prior to sustaining the injury that employment would terminate;
(2) employment would have terminated of its own terms prior to any reinstatement the worker would otherwise be entitled to under this section;
(3) the worker fails to keep the employer informed of:
(A) his or her continuing interest in reinstatement;
(B) his or her recovery;
(C) any change of his or her mailing address.
(e) A worker aggrieved by an employer's failure to comply with the provisions of this section may bring an action in the Superior Court in the county in which the worker or the employer resides for damages, including punitive damages, for noncompliance and may apply for such equitable relief as may be just and proper under the circumstances. A copy of the complaint shall be filed with the Commissioner. The Court shall award reasonable attorney's fees to the plaintiff if he or she prevails. (Added 1987, No. 105, § 1.)