HR Management & Compliance

Are Injured Part-Time Workers Entitled to Statutory Reinstatement Protections?

By Dave Johnston, JD, Sulloway & Hollis P.L.L.C.

Recently, the New Hampshire Supreme Court invalidated a New Hampshire Department of Labor (NHDOL) regulation that states part-time employees who are injured at work are ineligible for the reinstatement protections afforded by certain statutory provisions of New Hampshire’s workers’ compensation law.

The court ruled that the regulation impermissibly narrowed the protections afforded by the statute. As a result, the court overturned the Compensation Appeals Board’s (CAB) order upholding the denial of a request for reinstatement by a part-time employee.

Background

Raymond Cover was a part-time employee of the New Hampshire Liquor Commission (NHLC). In May 2013, he sustained a work-related injury that caused him to miss work. The NHLC informed him that he needed to provide medical documentation by June 14 to justify his absence from work. He didn’t meet the deadline, and on June 17, his part-time employment with the NHLC was terminated.

After his termination, Cover requested a hearing with the NHDOL, which was granted. He contested the denial of workers’ comp benefits for his injury and requested reinstatement to his job at the NHLC.

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