senate Bill S1660

2013-2014 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 08, 2014 referred to labor
Jan 09, 2013 referred to labor

S1660 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Labor
Law Section:
Labor Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง202-l, Lab L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S3305
2009-2010: S4988

S1660 - 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:S1660

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

Section 202-1. Authorized absence. I. 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 riot 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 axe 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.9856/5.4988 - Veto
6791 of 2010 S. 3305
of 2011-2012 Referred to Senate Labor Committee

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: 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
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1660

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. GRISANTI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed 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.
  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:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04129-01-3

S. 1660                             2

  (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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