Our volunteer firefighters and EMS attendants provide an invaluable service to citizens. These brave individuals devote their time and resources to helping others. Often, their service is underappreciated.
West Virginia law, however, protects the employment rights of members of volunteer fire departments and EMS attendants. Under W. Va. Code § 21-5-17, no employer may terminate, or use any disciplinary action against an employee, who is a member of a volunteer fire department or EMS attendant and who responds to an emergency call prior to the time he or she is due to report for work and which emergency results in a loss of time from his or her employment. Stated otherwise, if a volunteer is late for work due to responding to an emergency call, that volunteer cannot be disciplined or terminated for responding to the emergency.
Any employer willfully and knowingly violating W. Va. Code § 21-5-17 must reinstate the employee and pay the employee for all lost wages and benefits. Any such action for reinstatement must be brought within 1 year of the violation.
The Moore Law Firm is devoted to protecting the employment rights of hard-working West Virginians. We take great pride in representing our volunteer firefighters and EMS attendants. If you or someone you know has been disciplined or terminated for responding to an emergency call, contact us to discuss your case.