Chapter 244
2015 -- H 5315 SUBSTITUTE A
Enacted 07/15/2015

A N   A C T

Introduced By: Representatives Gallison, Fogarty, Marshall, Winfield, and Costantino
Date Introduced: February 05, 2015

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
     SECTION 1. Chapter 28-5 of the General Laws entitled "Fair Employment Practices" is
hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:
     28-5-43. Volunteer firefighters and emergency technicians - Responding to
emergencies, prohibition of discharge from other employment. – (a) Upon prior notice of an
employee, no employer shall discharge or take any other disciplinary action against any employee
by reason of failure of that employee to report for work at the commencement of his or her
regular working hours where the failure is due to his or her responding to an emergency in his or
her capacity as a volunteer member of a fire department or ambulance department; provided,
however, that no such employer shall be required to compensate any employee for any period of
his or her normal working hours that he or she fails to report for work. At the request of an
employer, an employee shall submit a statement signed by the chief of his or her fire department
or ambulance department certifying the date and time the employee responded to and returned
from the emergency. An employee shall inform his or her employer or immediate supervisor of
all reasons for any failure to report to work as required.
     (b) As used in this section:
     (1) "Responding to an emergency" means responding to, working at the scene of, or
returning from a fire, rescue, emergency medical service call, hazardous materials incident, or a
natural or man-made disaster, where the emergency occurs during a period other than normal
working hours of the employee; and
     (2) "Volunteer member" means a volunteer, call, reserve, or permanent-intermittent
firefighter or emergency medical technician, but shall not include any person who received
compensation for over nine hundred seventy-five (975) hours of services rendered in such
capacity over the preceding six (6) months.
     (c) Any employee who is terminated or against whom any disciplinary action is taken in
violation of the provisions of this section shall be immediately reinstated to his or her former
position without reduction of pay, seniority, or other benefits, and shall receive any lost pay or
other benefits during any period for which such termination or other disciplinary action was in
effect. An action to enforce the provisions of this section shall be commenced within one year of
the date of the alleged violation, in the superior court within the county wherein the action
occurred, or wherein the employer resides or transacts business.
     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.
LC000507/SUB A/2