Citations Affected: IC 36-8.
Synopsis: Employment absence for volunteer firefighters. Prohibits a
political subdivision from disciplining an employee who is a volunteer
firefighter for being absent from employment when the employee is
responding to a fire or emergency call. Allows the employee to initiate
a civil action against a political subdivision employer who disciplines
the employee for this reason. Authorizes a political subdivision
employer to request proof that the employee was engaged in fire or
emergency activity when absent and to charge the time away from
employment against hours worked or salary of the employee.
Effective: July 1, 2004.
January 12, 2004, read first time and referred to Committee on Pensions and Labor.
January 29, 2004, amended, reported favorably _ Do Pass.
A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning local
SECTION 1. IC 36-8-12-10.5 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA
CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS
[EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2004]: Sec. 10.5. (a) This section applies to an
employee of a political subdivision who:
(1) is a volunteer firefighter; and
(2) has notified the employee's employer that the employee is a volunteer firefighter.
(b) A political subdivision employer may not discipline an employee:
(1) for being absent from employment by reason of responding to a fire or emergency call that was received before the time that the employee was to report to employment; or
(2) for leaving the employee's duty station to respond to a fire or an emergency call if the employee has secured authorization from the employee's supervisor to leave the duty station in response to a fire or an emergency call
received after the employee has reported to work.
(c) A political subdivision employer may require an employee who has been absent from employment as set forth in subsection (b)(1) or (b)(2) to present a written statement from the fire chief or other officer in charge of the volunteer fire department at the time of the absence indicating that the employee was engaged in emergency firefighting or emergency activity at the time of the absence.
(d) A political subdivision employer may charge any time that an employee loses from employment because of the employee's response to a fire or emergency call against the employee's regular pay or hours of work.
(f) An employee who is disciplined by the employer in violation of subsection (b) may bring a civil action against the employer in the county of employment. In the action, the employee may seek the following:
(1) Payment of back wages.
(2) Reinstatement to the employee's former position.
(3) Fringe benefits wrongly denied or withdrawn.
(4) Seniority rights wrongly denied or withdrawn.
An action brought under this subsection must be filed within one (1) year after the date of the disciplinary action.