§21-5-18. Employers prohibited from discharging employees for time lost as emergency medical service personnel.

No employer may terminate an employee who is a member of an emergency medical service and who, in the line of emergency duty as an emergency medical service member, 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.

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 director of health stating that the employee responded to an emergency call and the time thereof.

As used in this section, "emergency" shall mean going to or coming from an actual medical emergency to prevent the imminent loss of life. 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.