Text: H.R.466 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (06/09/2009)

 
[Congressional Bills 111th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 466 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

111th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 466


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                              June 9, 2009

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
 To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for certain rights 
and benefits for persons who are absent from positions of employment to 
     receive medical treatment for service-connected disabilities.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Wounded Veteran Job Security Act''.

SEC. 2. RIGHTS OF PERSONS WHO RECEIVE TREATMENT FOR ILLNESSES, 
              INJURIES, AND DISABILITIES INCURRED IN OR AGGRAVATED BY 
              SERVICE IN THE UNIFORMED SERVICES.

    (a) Rights of Persons Who Receive Treatment.--
            (1) In general.--Subchapter II of chapter 43 of title 38, 
        United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
        following new section:
``Sec. 4320. Rights of persons absent from employment for treatment of 
              service-connected disabilities
    ``(a) Retention.--Subject to subsection (e), a person who is absent 
from a position of employment by reason of the receipt of medical 
treatment for a service-connected disability is entitled to be retained 
by the person's employer.
    ``(b) Seniority.--A person who is absent from employment by reason 
of the receipt of medical treatment for a service-connected disability 
and who is entitled to be retained by the person's employer under 
subsection (a) is entitled to the seniority and other rights and 
benefits determined by seniority that the person had on the date of the 
commencement of such treatment plus the additional seniority and rights 
and benefits that such person would have attained if the person had 
remained continuously employed.
    ``(c) Benefits.--(1) A person who is absent from a position of 
employment by reason of the receipt of medical treatment for a service-
connected disability and who is entitled to be retained by the person's 
employer under subsection (a) shall be--
            ``(A) deemed to be on furlough or leave of absence while 
        receiving such treatment; and
            ``(B) entitled to such other rights and benefits not 
        determined by seniority as are generally provided by the 
        employer of the person to employees having similar seniority, 
        status, and pay who are on furlough or leave of absence under a 
        contract, agreement, policy, practice, or plan in effect at the 
        commencement of such service or established while such person 
        is so absent.
    ``(2)(A) Subject to subparagraph (C), a person described in 
subparagraph (B) is not entitled to rights and benefits under paragraph 
(1)(B).
    ``(B) A person described in this subparagraph is a person who--
            ``(i) is absent from a position of employment by reason of 
        the receipt of medical treatment for a service-connected 
        disability; and
            ``(ii) knowingly provides written notice of intent not to 
        return to a position of employment after receiving such 
        treatment.
    ``(C) For the purposes of this paragraph, the employer shall have 
the burden of proving that a person knowingly provided clear written 
notice of intent not to return to a position of employment after being 
absent from employment by reason of the receipt of medical treatment 
and, in doing so, was aware of the specific rights and benefits to be 
lost under subparagraph (A).
    ``(3) A person deemed to be on furlough or leave of absence under 
this subsection while receiving medical treatment for a service-
connected disability shall not be entitled under this subsection to any 
benefits to which the person would not otherwise be entitled if the 
person had remained continuously employed.
    ``(4) Such person may be required to pay the employee cost, if any, 
of any funded benefit continued pursuant to paragraph (1) to the extent 
other employees on furlough or leave of absence are so required.
    ``(5) The entitlement of a person to coverage under a health plan 
is provided for under section 4317 of this title.
    ``(d) Leave.--Any person who is absent from a position of 
employment with an employer by reason of the receipt of medical 
treatment for a service-connected disability shall be permitted, upon 
request of that person, to use during the period during which the 
person is so absent, any vacation, annual, medical, or similar leave 
with pay accrued by the person before the commencement of such period. 
No employer may require any such person to use vacation, annual, 
family, medical, or similar leave during such period.
    ``(e) Exceptions.--(1) An employer is not required to comply with 
the requirements of this section if--
            ``(A) the employer's circumstances have so changed as to 
        make such compliance impossible or unreasonable;
            ``(B) such compliance would impose an undue hardship on the 
        employer; or
            ``(C) the employment from which the person is absent by 
        reason of the receipt of medical treatment is for a brief, 
        nonrecurrent period and there is no reasonable expectation that 
        such employment will continue indefinitely or for a significant 
        period.
    ``(2) In any proceeding involving an issue of whether (A) any 
compliance referred to in paragraph (1) is impossible or unreasonable 
because of a change in an employer's circumstances, (B) such compliance 
would impose an undue hardship on the employer, or (C) the employment 
referred to in paragraph (1)(C) is for a brief, nonrecurrent period and 
there is no reasonable expectation that such employment will continue 
indefinitely or for a significant period, the employer shall have the 
burden of proving the impossibility or unreasonableness, undue 
hardship, or the brief or nonrecurrent nature of the employment without 
a reasonable expectation of continuing indefinitely or for a 
significant period.''.
            (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the 
        item relating to section 4319 the following new item:

``4320. Rights of persons absent from employment for treatment of 
                            service-connected disabilities.''.
    (b) Health Plan.--Section 4317 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(c) This section shall apply with respect to a person who is 
absent from a position of employment by reason of the receipt of 
medical treatment for a service-connected disability (other than a 
person described in section 4320(c)(2)(B) of this title) on the same 
basis as a person who is absent from a position of employment by reason 
of service in the uniformed services. In the case of a person who is 
absent from a position of employment by reason of the receipt of 
medical treatment for a service-connected disability (other than a 
person described in section 4320(c)(2)(B) of this title), the period 
during which the person is so absent shall be treated as a period of 
service in the uniformed services for purposes of this section.''.
    (c) Prohibition of Discrimination and Acts of Reprisal.--Section 
4311 of title 38, United States Code, is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)--
                    (A) by inserting after ``uniformed service'' the 
                following: ``, or who has an illness, injury, or 
                disability determined by the Secretary of Veterans 
                Affairs to have been incurred in or aggravated by such 
                service,''; and
                    (B) by striking ``or obligation'' and inserting 
                ``obligation, or receipt of treatment for that illness, 
                injury, or disability''; and
            (2) in subsection (c)--
                    (A) by striking ``or obligation for service'' the 
                first time it appears and inserting ``obligation for 
                service, or receipt of treatment for an illness, 
                injury, or disability determined by the Secretary of 
                Veterans Affairs to have been incurred in or aggravated 
                by service''; and
                    (B) by striking ``or obligation for service'' the 
                second time it appears and inserting ``obligation for 
                service, or receipt of treatment''.
    (d) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section shall 
apply with respect to medical treatment received on or after the date 
of the enactment of this Act.

            Passed the House of Representatives June 8, 2009.

            Attest:

                                            LORRAINE C. MILLER,

                                                                 Clerk.

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