Can Volunteer Firefighters Leave Work For Calls?

Sadly, wildfires are common place in California every year.  Fortunately, brave volunteer firefighters who also have separate jobs help supplement California’s need for additional manpower to fight these fires.  But how can these brave volunteers leave work to meet their duty in a moment’s notice when they also have obligations to their regular employers?  Some employers may be inclined to terminate or punish volunteer firefighters who leave work to answer emergency, rescue, or fire calls. 

California fortunately does provide protections to volunteer firefighters.  It is unlawful for employers to terminate, retaliate against, or discriminate against employees for taking time off to perform emergency duty as a volunteer firefighter, reserve peace officer, or emergency rescue personnel.  Also, an employee who serves as a volunteer firefighter and works for an employer with 50 or more employees, may take up to 14 days off in a calendar year for volunteer firefighter training. 

(See Link(s): Labor Code Sections 230.3 and 230.4)