Any person discharging or threatening to discharge an employee for seeking workers' compensation benefits or in any manner intentionally obstructing an employee seeking workers' compensation benefits is liable in a civil action for damages incurred by the employee including any diminution in workers' compensation benefits caused by a violation of this section including costs and reasonable attorney fees, and for punitive damages not to exceed three times the amount of any compensation benefit to which the employee is entitled. Damages awarded under this section shall not be offset by any workers' compensation benefits to which the employee is entitled.
An employer who, without reasonable cause, refuses to offer continued employment to its employee when employment is available within the employee's physical limitations shall be liable in a civil action for one year's wages. The wages are payable from the date of the refusal to offer continued employment, and at the same time and at the same rate as the employee's preinjury wage, to continue during the period of the refusal up to a maximum of $15,000. These payments shall be in addition to any other payments provided by this chapter. In determining the availability of employment, the continuance in business of the employer shall be considered and written rules promulgated by the employer with respect to seniority or the provisions or any collective bargaining agreement shall govern. These payments shall not be covered by a contract of insurance. The employer shall be served directly and be a party to the claim. This subdivision shall not apply to employers who employ 15 or fewer full-time equivalent employees.
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