Leaves of Absence for Volunteer Firefighters, Reserve Police Officers and Emergency Rescue Personnel

“An employer shall not discharge or in any manner discriminate against an employee for taking time off to perform emergency duty as a volunteer firefighter, a reserve peace officer, or emergency rescue personnel.” Lab. C. §230.3(a). Employers are required to grant time off to employees to perform emergency duty as volunteer firefighters, reserve police officers, or emergency rescue personnel. Lab. C. §230.3(a)

If you are a volunteer firefighter, reserve police officer, or emergency rescue personnel and you are denied time off to perform emergency duty, then contact the attorneys at Kokozian Law Firm, APC.

In addition, employers with 50 or more employees are required to grant employees temporary leaves of up to 14 days per year for fire or law enforcement training. Lab. C. §230.4(a). Thus, such employees are entitled to attend fire or law enforcement trainings and employers are not allowed to discriminate or retaliate against the attendance. For example, if you are a volunteer firefighter and your employer discriminates against you by demoting you or threatening to discharge you because you have taken time off to attend a fire training, then your employer may be violating Section §230.4(a).

If the employee’s suit is successful under Lab. C. §230.3 or §230.4, then the employee may have several remedies. The remedies for such discrimination include “reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and work benefits caused by the acts of the employer”. Lab. C. §230.4(b). First, under reinstatement, the employee would be entitled to his or her job back. Second, under reimbursement, the employee would be entitled to lost wages for the time during which he or she was not allowed to work for the employer. In the case that an employee had been demoted rather than being fired, the reimbursement would be for the difference between what he or she would have made at his or her previous position and what he or she actually made during that time. Finally, the employee can also sue for work benefits that were lost due to the employer's discrimination against him or her, such as health insurance that was denied while the employee was discharged.

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If you have not been granted a leave in order to attend fire or law enforcement training or to perform emergency duty as a volunteer firefighter, a reserve peace officer, or emergency rescue personnel, or if you have experienced negative treatment or termination from having taken a leave at your workplace in order to perform such emergency duty or to attend fire or law enforcement training, contact the lawyers at Kokozian Law Firm, APC concentrating in leaves for volunteer firefighters, reserve police officers, and emergency rescue personnel. Feel free to contact us at 323-857-5900.