HANDBOOK HELPER EPISODE 39 FIRST RESPONDER JOB SECURITY Emergency Service Volunteer Leave Policies « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles

Emergency Service Volunteer Leave Policies

California employers must provide protected leave to employees requiring time off to perform these volunteer civil services:

●   Employers of 16 or more employees must provide up to 10 days of unpaid annual leave for Civil Air Patrol duty to eligible volunteer members of the California Wing of the civilian U.S. Air Force Civil Air Patrol when responding to an emergency operation mission;
●   Employers of all sizes must provide temporary leaves of absence to employees performing emergency rescue duty as volunteer firefighters, reserve peace officers, or to emergency rescue personnel of a fire department or sheriff/police department; and
●    Employers of 50 or more employees must also allow up to 14 days off per calendar year for emergency rescue personnel to engage in fire, law enforcement or emergency rescue training.

Policy Drafting Tips:

  • Covered employers should include a Civil Air Patrol leave policy that requires adequate documentation of the need for leave and confirms the employee’s reinstatement rights;
  • All employers should include a volunteer civil services’ leave policy for employees performing emergency-related duties; and
  • Covered employers should include an emergency rescue personnel training leave policy.


Implement and regularly review your handbook to include all applicable volunteer civil service leave policies, and educate and train your supervisors on these laws.

We publish this series to educate employers on best practices for a well-written handbook that assists applicants, employees, and management alike. To purchase our 2023 template handbook – which contains the above policy and much more – and accompanying forms or for more information, please contact Office Manager Aimee Rosales at 626.583.6600 or officemgr@tbowleslaw.com.

See also:

Cindy Bamforth
October 6, 2023

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