senate Bill S3305

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Requires employers to authorize absence from or lateness to work if such absence or lateness was due to responding to an emergency as a volunteer

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 04, 2012 referred to labor
Feb 15, 2011 referred to labor

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S3305 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A5306
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Labor Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง202-l, Lab L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S4988, A9856

S3305 - Bill Texts

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Requires employers to authorize absence from or lateness to work if such absence or lateness was due to responding to an emergency as a volunteer firefighter or ambulance worker.

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BILL NUMBER:S3305

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the labor law, in relation to prohibiting an employer from
terminating an employee who also is a volunteer firefighter or a
volunteer provider of emergency medical services when that employee
misses or is late to work because of an emergency to which the employee
was dispatched

PURPOSE:
The legislation is designed to ensure volunteer firefighters
and EMS responders won't lose their paying jobs simply because they
were late or missed work while performing their duties.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1. The labor law is amended by adding a
new section 202-1 to read as follows:

Section 202-1. Authorized absence. 1. If an employee is absent from or
late to his or her employment due to his or her engaging in the
actual performance of his or her duties as (a) volunteer firefighter,
or (b) an enrolled member of a volunteer ambulance service pursuant
to article thirty of the public health law, an employer shall be
prohibited from terminating such employee solely on the basis of such
absence or lateness.

2. The entire period of the authorized absence may be charged against
any other leave such employee is otherwise entitled to, and such
authorized absence shall include travel both to and from such duties
performed in his or her capacity as a volunteer. At the employer's
request the employee must provide the employer with a statement from
the head of the volunteer firefighter or volunteer ambulance service,
as applicable, stating the employee responded to an emergency at the
time of such response.

3. In the event that the employee does not have accrued time to offset
any time lost in an emergency response the employer must either, at
its option: (a) grant at least three hours of authorized absence in
any twelve month period to an employee who has engaged in a volunteer
response or (b) allow its employees without use of accumulated leave
time an authorized absence for volunteer response during work hours
at least two times per calendar year.

4. The commissioner is hereby authorized to establish any necessary
guidelines, including requirements for documentation of the emergency
response, validation of accrued leave, and the conditions of
dismissal and procedures for an employee to seek reinstatement and
reimbursement if dismissed on the basis of an authorized absence.

JUSTIFICATION:

There are numerous examples of volunteers being
discharged on the basis of tardiness or absenteeism even though the
response was bona fide and in response to a dispatch from the Chief
or appropriate person in charge.

The threat of losing a job has a chilling effect on response at a time
when more that than 80 percent of New York State's geography is
covered by volunteer response. Volunteers are frontline first
responders and cannot be replaced without enormous cost to local
governments at a time when the State is in the throes of a budget
crisis.

The bill has several employer protections. It requires verification
from a commanding officer that the volunteer was duly dispatched. It
allows for absences to be charged against employee's accrued leave.
It allows for verification of the timeline for the response.

Eight states including Ohio, Illinois and California have passed
statues to protect their volunteers. Daytime response has become
critical and attracting and retaining volunteers has become a daily
challenge for local Fire Companies. Volunteers should not have to
choose between their job and protecting their community.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
A.9856/S.4988 - Veto #6791 of 2010

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

    S. 3305                                                  A. 5306

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                      S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y

                            February 15, 2011
                               ___________

IN  SENATE  --  Introduced  by  Sen.  GRISANTI -- read twice and ordered
  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Labor

IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. THIELE, SILVER,  CROUCH,  DESTITO,
  LUPARDO -- read once and referred to the Committee on Labor

AN  ACT  to  amend the labor law, in relation to prohibiting an employer
  from terminating an employee who also is a volunteer firefighter or  a
  volunteer  provider  of  emergency medical services when that employee
  misses or is late to work because of an emergency to which the employ-
  ee was dispatched

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  The labor law is amended by adding a new section 202-l to
read as follows:
  S 202-L. AUTHORIZED ABSENCE. 1. IF AN EMPLOYEE IS ABSENT FROM OR  LATE
TO  HIS  OR  HER  EMPLOYMENT  DUE  TO  HIS OR HER ENGAGING IN THE ACTUAL
PERFORMANCE OF HIS OR HER DUTIES AS (A) A VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER, OR  (B)
AN  ENROLLED MEMBER OF A VOLUNTEER AMBULANCE SERVICE PURSUANT TO ARTICLE
THIRTY OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW, AN EMPLOYER SHALL  BE  PROHIBITED  FROM
TERMINATING  SUCH  EMPLOYEE SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF SUCH ABSENCE OR LATE-
NESS.
  2. THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF THE AUTHORIZED ABSENCE MAY BE CHARGED  AGAINST
ANY OTHER LEAVE SUCH EMPLOYEE IS OTHERWISE ENTITLED TO, AND SUCH AUTHOR-
IZED ABSENCE SHALL INCLUDE TRAVEL BOTH TO AND FROM SUCH DUTIES PERFORMED
IN  HIS  OR  HER  CAPACITY AS A VOLUNTEER. AT THE EMPLOYER'S REQUEST THE
EMPLOYEE MUST PROVIDE THE EMPLOYER WITH A STATEMENT FROM THE HEAD OF THE
VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER OR VOLUNTEER  AMBULANCE  SERVICE,  AS  APPLICABLE,
STATING  THE  EMPLOYEE  RESPONDED  TO  AN  EMERGENCY AT THE TIME OF SUCH
RESPONSE.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD07855-01-1

S. 3305                             2                            A. 5306

  3. IN THE EVENT THAT THE EMPLOYEE DOES NOT HAVE ACCRUED TIME TO OFFSET
ANY TIME LOST IN AN EMERGENCY RESPONSE THE EMPLOYER MUST EITHER, AT  ITS
OPTION:
  (A)  GRANT  AT  LEAST  THREE HOURS OF AUTHORIZED ABSENCE IN ANY TWELVE
MONTH PERIOD TO AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAS ENGAGED IN A VOLUNTEER RESPONSE; OR
  (B) ALLOW ITS EMPLOYEES WITHOUT  USE  OF  ACCUMULATED  LEAVE  TIME  AN
AUTHORIZED ABSENCE FOR VOLUNTEER RESPONSE DURING WORK HOURS AT LEAST TWO
TIMES PER CALENDAR YEAR.
  4.  THE  COMMISSIONER  IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO ESTABLISH ANY NECESSARY
GUIDELINES, INCLUDING REQUIREMENTS FOR DOCUMENTATION  OF  THE  EMERGENCY
RESPONSE,  VALIDATION  OF ACCRUED LEAVE, AND THE CONDITIONS OF DISMISSAL
AND PROCEDURES FOR AN EMPLOYEE TO SEEK REINSTATEMENT  AND  REIMBURSEMENT
IF DISMISSED ON THE BASIS OF AN AUTHORIZED ABSENCE.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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