Leave for Certain Emergency Services Personnel

Leave for Volunteer Fighters, Reserve Peace Officers, and Civil Air Patrol members.
This law was 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.

    • Applies to employers who had twenty 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.
    • Allows a volunteer firefighter, reserve peace officer responding to, working at, or returning from a fire alarm or emergency call, or a member of the Civil Air Patrol involved in an emergency service operation:
      • To be late or miss work;
      • If their presence is requested by the on scene commander;

Note: A volunteer firefighter cannot be paid and must be away from their regular job when the call comes in.

If the complaint is timely (made to L&I within 90 days) the Director can order the employer to reinstate the employee or order discipline to be rescinded.


For questions about any of Washington's leave laws, contact the Employment Standards program at your local L&I office or the central office in Tumwater at 360-902-5316.

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