20 CFR § 702.271 - Discrimination; against employees who bring proceedings, prohibition and penalty.

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§ 702.271 Discrimination; against employees who bring proceedings, prohibition and penalty.

(a)

(1) No employer or its duly authorized agent may discharge or in any manner discriminate against an employee as to his/her employment because that employee: (i) Has claimed or attempted to claim compensation under this Act; or (ii) has testified or is about to testify in a proceeding under this Act. To discharge or refuse to employ a person who has been adjudicated to have filed a fraudulent claim for compensation or otherwise made a false statement or misrepresentation under section 31(a)(1) of the Act, 33 U.S.C. 931(a)(1), is not a violation of this section.

(2) Any employer who violates this section, and has penalties assessed for such violation after January 23, 2019, shall be liable for a penalty of not less than $2,402 or more than $12,007 to be paid (by the employer alone, and not by a carrier) to the district director for deposit in the special fund described in section 44 of the Act, 33 U.S.C. 944; and shall restore the employee to his or her employment along with all wages lost due to the discrimination unless the employee has ceased to be qualified to perform the duties of employment.

(b) When a district director receives a complaint from an employee alleging discrimination as defined under section 49, he or she shall notify the employer, and within five working days, initiate specific inquiry to determine all the facts and circumstances pertaining thereto. This may be accomplished by interviewing the employee, employer representatives and other parties who may have information about the matter. Interviews may be conducted by written correspondence, telephone or personal interview.

(c) If circumstances warrant, the district director may also conduct an informal conference on the issue as described in §§ 702.312 through 702.314.

(d) Any employee discriminated against is entitled to be restored to his employment and to be compensated by the employer for any loss of wages arising out of such discrimination provided that the employee is qualified to perform the duties of the employment. If it is determined that the employee has been discriminated against, the district director shall also determine whether the employee is qualified to perform the duties of the employment. The district director may use medical evidence submitted by the parties or he may arrange to have the employee examined by a physician selected by the district director. The cost of the medical examination arranged for by the district director may be charged to the special fund established by section 44, 33 U.S.C. 944.

[42 FR 45302, Sept. 9, 1977, as amended at 50 FR 400, Jan. 3, 1985; 62 FR 53956, Oct. 17, 1997; 81 FR 43449, July 1, 2016; 82 FR 5380, Jan. 18, 2017; 83 FR 11, Jan. 2, 2018; 84 FR 217, Jan. 23, 2019]