|Passed by the House February 11, 2004|
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Passed by the Senate March 4, 2004
President of the Senate
I, Richard Nafziger, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is HOUSE BILL 2601 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.
Governor of the State of Washington
Secretary of State
State of Washington
|State of Washington||58th Legislature||2004 Regular Session|
Read first time 01/16/2004. Referred to Committee on Commerce & Labor.
AN ACT Relating to unlawful discharge or discipline of reserve officers; and amending RCW 49.12.460.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1 RCW 49.12.460 and 2003 c 401 s 5 are each amended to read
(1) An employer may not discharge from employment or discipline a volunteer fire fighter or reserve officer because of leave taken related to an alarm of fire or an emergency call.
(2)(a) A volunteer fire fighter or reserve officer who believes he or she was discharged or disciplined in violation of this section may file a complaint alleging the violation with the director. The volunteer fire fighter or reserve officer may allege a violation only by filing such a complaint within ninety days of the alleged violation.
(b) Upon receipt of the complaint, the director must cause an investigation to be made as the director deems appropriate and must determine whether this section has been violated. Notice of the director's determination must be sent to the complainant and the employer within ninety days of receipt of the complaint.
(c) If the director determines that this section was violated and the employer fails to reinstate the employee or withdraw the disciplinary action taken against the employee, whichever is applicable, within thirty days of receipt of notice of the director's determination, the volunteer fire fighter or reserve officer may bring an action against the employer alleging a violation of this section and seeking reinstatement or withdrawal of the disciplinary action.
(d) In any action brought under this section, the superior court shall have jurisdiction, for cause shown, to restrain violations under this section and to order reinstatement of the employee or withdrawal of the disciplinary action.
(3) For the purposes of this section:
(a) "Alarm of fire or emergency call" means responding to, working at, or returning from a fire alarm or an emergency call, but not participating in training or other nonemergency activities.
(b) "Employer" means an employer who had twenty or more full-time equivalent employees in the previous year.
(c) "Reinstatement" means reinstatement with back pay, without loss of seniority or benefits, and with removal of any related adverse material from the employee's personnel file, if a file is maintained by the employer.
(d) "Withdrawal of disciplinary action" means withdrawal of disciplinary action with back pay, without loss of seniority or benefits, and with removal of any related adverse material from the employee's personnel file, if a file is maintained by the employer.
(e) "Volunteer fire fighter" means a fire fighter who:
(i) Is not paid;
(ii) Is not already at his or her place of employment when called to serve as a volunteer, unless the employer agrees to provide such an accommodation; and
(iii) Has been ordered to remain at his or her position by the commanding authority at the scene of the fire.
(f) "Reserve officer" has the meaning provided in RCW 41.24.010.
(4) The legislature declares that the public policies articulated in this section depend on the procedures established in this section and no civil or criminal action may be maintained relying on the public policies articulated in this section without complying with the procedures set forth in this section, and to that end all civil actions and civil causes of action for such injuries and all jurisdiction of the courts of this state over such causes are hereby abolished, except as provided in this section.