State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. recently announced that legislation he sponsored has been signed into law by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The bill provides for authorized absences for members of volunteer fire departments and volunteer ambulance squads who respond to a declared state of emergency.
Mr. Thiele sponsored this legislation on behalf of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York. It is designed to ensure that volunteer firefighters and emergency medical service responders do not lose their jobs because they are late or miss work while performing their duties during states of emergency.
“Whether it be a natural disaster, like Superstorm Sandy, or a man-made disaster like brush fires, my constituents depended upon the volunteers who responded at a moment’s notice to provide necessary emergency services,” Mr. Thiele stated.
The legislation further provides that the leave of absence provisions apply only if the employer receives prior written documentation by the head of the employee’s volunteer fire department or volunteer ambulance squad notifying the employer of the employee’s status as a volunteer firefighter or volunteer ambulance service member.