Q. I have an employee who is a volunteer firefighter. Although I believe that volunteering is important, his absences to respond to emergencies have disrupted workplace productivity. Can I replace him on this basis?
A. Under California law, individuals who register as volunteer firefighters with a local fire department are protected from adverse employment action based on their need to take time off to perform emergency firefighter duties.
Thus, employers may not terminate, threaten to discharge, demote, suspend or otherwise discipline an employee because he or she has been called away from work to perform emergency duties.
An employee who experiences discrimination based on this type of absence is entitled to reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and. An employer that is found to have “willfully” discriminated against a volunteer firefighter is guilty of a misdemeanor.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Enforce dress and grooming code tactfully to avoid trouble
- Family-Responsibility discrimination: A growing trend
- Have solid reason for termination if employee previously engaged in protected activity
- Treat all pregnant employees equally, regardless of race or ethnicity