Month: September 2015

First Edition of SBJ Fire and EMS Law Newsletter

The first issue of the Smith Buss & Jacobs Fire and EMS Newsletter has been published and is being circulated to volunteer emergency services departments in the New York Metro area.  The September edition of newsletter discusses issues relevant to SBJ’s new fire and EMS law practice group. SBJ Fire and EMS Law Newsletter – September...

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New Law Permits Leaves of Absence for Volunteer Firefighters and EMS Personnel

This just came up in something I am working on, so I thought it might be relevant to others. Effective December 22, 2014, New York amended the Labor Law in relation to authorized absences by members of volunteer fire departments and volunteer ambulance squads who respond to states of emergency.  The purpose of the amendment was to provide an authorized leave of absence from a place of employment for volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers who respond to a declared state of emergency. New Labor Law Section 202-1 allows an employee to request and be granted a leave of absence if he or she is a volunteer firefighter or enrolled member of a volunteer ambulance service and ambulance workers who respond to a declared state of emergency during a state of emergency. The amendment allows for a waiver if the employee’s absence would impose an undue hardship on the employer’s business. According to the legislative history, “volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers are often called upon to respond to states of emergency that are called by the state or federal governments. They perform critical services during these emergencies and are often away from their places of employment for days at a time, while serving with members of the National Guard and other responders. This bill seeks to provide them with protection from retaliation by their employer for their service as an...

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