Indiana state law(s)
Does anyone know about Indiana state laws concerning volunteer firefighters and the workplace? I work here in the township of my fire department, and my job is one that is usually easy to leave, as far as my responsbilities go. I do maintainence at a Retreat Center and it is no problem to stop work on a project and go on an emergency call. The problem I'm having is my supervisor insists on making a major fuss about the issue. He himself has called 911 at home and people like me have left their jobs to respond to his call, but he can't understand why I do it.
Is there any Indiana laws that suppport/protect the volunteer firefighters from work disipline for being absent?
I looked on the internet at the Indiana State Laws and couldnt find what I knew was up-to-date, accurate information.
If there is anyone else here in a situation like mine, how do you deal with getting along? I know it works good for some people, because many town buisnesses understand the importance of the FD and let them leave. I have one friend who was on a FD in Ohio, and his employer ENCOURAGED him to go on fire calls and even paid him while he was gone. I don't expect to be paid, or even a pat-on-the-back...I just get tired of the complaining.
Based on the information that I have read, the law only protects you in the event that you are late, due to a call; it doesn't cover you to leave once you're at work (unless approved by the employer).
I'll try to find the code and post it.
Employees of political subdivisions; volunteer firefighting activity
Sec. 10.5. (a) This section does not apply to an employee of the state subject to IC 4-15-10-7.
(b) This section applies to an employee of a political subdivision
(1) is a volunteer firefighter; and
(2) has notified the employee's employer in writing that the employee is a volunteer firefighter.
(c) The political subdivision employer may not discipline an employee:
(1) for being absent from employment by reason of responding to a fire or emergency call that was received before the time that the employee was to report to employment; or
(2) for leaving the employee's duty station to respond to a fire or an emergency call if the employee has secured authorization from the employee's supervisor to leave the duty station in response to a fire or an emergency call received after the employee has reported to work.
(d) The political subdivision employer may require an employee who has been absent from employment as set forth in subsection (c)(1) or (c)(2) to present a written statement from the fire chief or other officer in charge of the volunteer fire department at the time of the absence indicating that the employee was engaged in emergency firefighting or emergency activity at the time of the absence.
(e) An employee who is disciplined by the employer in violation of subsection (c) may bring a civil action against the employer in the county of employment. In the action, the employee may seek the following:
(1) Payment of back wages.
(2) Reinstatement to the employee's former position.
(3) Fringe benefits wrongly denied or withdrawn.
(4) Seniority rights wrongly denied or withdrawn.
An action brought under this subsection must be filed within one (1) year after the date of the disciplinary action.
As added by P.L.49-2004, SEC.1.
Volunteer firefighting activity
Sec. 7. An employee may not be disciplined for absence from work if:
(1) the employee is a member of a volunteer fire department under IC 36-8-12;
(2) the employee has notified his immediate supervisor in writing that he is a member of a volunteer fire department;
(3) the employee presents a written statement to his immediate supervisor from the chief or other officer in charge of the volunteer fire department that the employee was engaged in
emergency firefighting activity at the time of his absence from work; and
(4) the employee secures authorization from his supervisor to leave his duty station if the employee has already reported for work.