An Act affording employment protections to volunteers responding to emergency alarms in certain cases, and supplementing chapter 14 of Title 40A of the New Jersey Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
C.40A:14-213 Short title.
1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Emergency Responders Employment Protection Act.”
C.40A:14-214 Employment protection for volunteer emergency responder.
2. a. As used in this act, “volunteer emergency responder” means an active member in good standing of a volunteer fire company, a volunteer member of a duly incorporated first aid, rescue or ambulance squad, or a member of any county or municipal volunteer Office of Emergency Management, provided the member’s official duties include responding to a fire or emergency call.
b. No employer shall terminate, dismiss or suspend an employee who fails to report for work at his place of employment because he is serving as a volunteer emergency responder during a state of emergency declared by the President of the United States or the Governor of this State or is actively engaged in responding to an emergency alarm; provided the volunteer emergency responder provides his employer with (1) notice, at least one hour before he is scheduled to report to his place of employment, that he is rendering emergency services in response to a declared state of emergency or emergency alarm; and (2) upon returning to his place of employment, a copy of the incident report and a certification by the incident commander, or other official or officer in charge, affirming that the volunteer emergency responder was actively engaged in, and necessary for, rendering emergency services and setting forth the date and time the volunteer emergency responder was relieved from emergency duty by that officer or official, as the case may be. If the volunteer emergency responder is actively engaged in rendering emergency services for more than one consecutive work day, the incident commander, or other official or officer in charge, shall direct that appropriate notice be given the volunteer emergency responder’s employer each day the volunteer is required to be absent from his employment.
c. No employer shall be required to pay any employee for any work time that the employee misses while serving as a volunteer emergency responder pursuant to this subsection; provided, however, a volunteer emergency responder may charge his absence as a vacation day or a sick day, if the volunteer has such days available.
d. The provisions of this act shall not apply to any employee who, by statute or contract, is deemed an essential employee.
3. This act shall take effect on the first day of the third month following enactment.
Approved January 14, 2010.