H. B. 4029
(By Delegate Blass)
[Introduced January 10, 1996; referred to the
Committee on Industry and Labor then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section seventeen, article five,
chapter twenty-one of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to
prohibiting employers from charging against accumulated sick
or annual leave of an employee who has missed work due to
being on call as a volunteer firefighter or as an emergency
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section seventeen, article five, chapter twenty-one of
the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one,
as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. WAGE PAYMENT AND COLLECTION.
§21-5-17. Employers prohibited from discharging employees for
time lost as volunteer firemen; employers
prohibited from charging against an employee's accumulated sick or annual leave for lost time that
results from being on call as a volunteer fireman
or emergency medical technician-paramedic.
No employer may terminate an employee who is a member of a
volunteer fire department and who, in the line of emergency duty
as a volunteer fireman, responds to an emergency call prior to
the time he is due to report for work and which emergency results
in a loss of time from his employment; nor may any employer
charge against any employee's accumulated sick or annual leave
for loss of time which results from being on call as a volunteer
fireman or emergency medical technician-paramedic.
Any time lost from employment as provided in this section
may be charged against the employee's regular pay.
At the request of an employer, any employee losing time as
provided herein shall supply his employer with a statement from
the chief of the volunteer fire department stating that the
employee responded to an emergency call and the time thereof.
As used in this section, "emergency" shall mean going to,
attending to or coming from (1) an actual fire call to prevent
the imminent loss of life or property, or (2) a hazardous or
toxic materials spill and cleanup. The term "employer" includes
any individual, partnership, association, corporation, business
trust or any person or group of persons acting directly or
indirectly in the interest of an employer in relation to any employee.
Any employer who willfully and knowingly violates the
provisions of this section shall be required to reinstate such
employee to his former position and shall be required to pay such
employee all lost wages and benefits for the period between
termination and reinstatement. Any action to enforce the
provisions of this section shall be commenced within a period of
one year after the date of violation and such action shall be
commenced in the circuit court of the county wherein the place of
employment is located.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prevent employers from
charging accumulated sick or annual leave against an employee who
is forced to miss work due to having to be on call as a volunteer
firefighter or emergency medical technician-paramedic.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.