Leave for Certain Emergency Services Personnel

Leave for Volunteer Fighters, Reserve Peace Officers and Civil Air Patrol Members

This law is designed to protect volunteer firefighters, reserve peace officers, and members of the Civil Air Patrol from employer discipline when an emergency call, or fire alarm, or an emergency service operation prevents them from showing up to work on time.

This law:

    • Applies to employers who had 20 or more full-time equivalent employees in the previous year;
    • Applies to all employees who are volunteer firefighters, reserve peace officers, or members of the Civil Air Patrol, regardless of how long they have worked for the employer.
    • Allows a volunteer firefighter working at, or returning from a fire alarm or emergency call to be late or miss work if the on-scene commander has ordered the firefighter to remain at the scene.
      • Allows a reserve peace officer called to an emergency, or a member of the Civil Air Patrol involved in an emergency service operation to be late or miss work.

Note: Volunteer firefighters cannot be paid and must be away from their regular job when the fire alarm or emergency call comes in to qualify for this leave.

An employer may not discharge or discipline an employee for taking this leave. If an employee is discharged or disciplined for taking this leave and files a complaint with L&I within 90 days, the Director can order reinstatement or order the employer to rescind the discipline.


For more information:

For questions or training opportunities on Washington's leave laws, contact L&I’s protected leave specialist at 360-902-4930.

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