(a) 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.
(b) An employee who is discharged, threatened with discharge, demoted, suspended, or in any other manner discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment by his or her employer because the employee has taken time off to perform emergency duty as a volunteer firefighter, a reserve peace officer, or emergency rescue personnel shall be entitled to reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and work benefits caused by the acts of the employer. Any employer who willfully refuses to rehire, promote, or otherwise restore an employee or former employee who has been determined to be eligible for rehiring or promotion by a grievance procedure, arbitration, or hearing authorized by law, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(c) (1) Subdivisions (a) and (b) of this section shall not apply to any public safety agency or provider of emergency medical services if, as determined by the employer, the employee’s absence would hinder the availability of public safety or emergency medical services.
(2) An employee who is a health care provider shall notify his or her employer at the time the employee becomes designated as emergency rescue personnel and when the employee is notified that he or she will be deployed as a result of that designation.
(d) (1) For purposes of this section, “volunteer firefighter” shall have the same meaning as the term “volunteer” in Section 50952 of the Government Code.
(2) For purposes of this section, “emergency rescue personnel” means any person who is an officer, employee, or member of a fire department or fire protection or firefighting agency of the federal government, the State of California, a city, county, city and county, district, or other public or municipal corporation or political subdivision of this state, or of a sheriff’s department, police department, or a private fire department, or of a disaster medical response entity sponsored or requested by this state, whether that person is a volunteer or partly paid or fully paid, while he or she is actually engaged in providing emergency services as defined by Section 1799.107 of the Health and Safety Code.
(3) For purposes of this section, “health care provider” means any person licensed or certified pursuant to Division 2 (commencing with Section 500) of the Business and Professions Code, or licensed pursuant to the Osteopathic Initiative Act, or the Chiropractic Initiative Act.
(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 343, Sec. 1. (AB 2536) Effective January 1, 2015.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018