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, 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; and
    • 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(made to L&I within 90 days) the director can order the employer to reinstate the employee or order discipline to be rescinded.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 related information:

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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