H. B. 2025
(By Delegates Collins, Pettit and Davis)
[Introduced January 13, 1999; referred to the
Committee on Political Subdivisions then Finance.]
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 or she is due to report for work and which emergency
results in a loss of time from his or her 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 or her 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 means 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; or (3) any other situation
to which his or her fire department has been or later could be dispatched. 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
the employee to his or her former position and shall be required
to pay such the 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 the
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.