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AB-1283 Mutual aid: reimbursements: volunteer firefighters.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 08/28/2017 09:00 PM
AB1283:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  August 28, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  June 21, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 26, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 30, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1283


Introduced by Assembly Member Rodriguez

February 17, 2017


An act to add Section 230.35 to the Labor Code, 8619.7 to the Government Code, relating to volunteer firefighters.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1283, as amended, Rodriguez. Firefighting: federal Mutual aid: reimbursements: volunteer firefighters.
(1) Existing law, enforced by the Labor Commissioner, regulates the terms and conditions of employment, including wages. Existing law prohibits an employer from discharging, or in any manner discriminating against, an employee for taking time off to perform emergency duty as a volunteer firefighter. Existing law makes it a misdemeanor to willfully refuse to pay wages due, as specified, or to falsely deny an amount or validity of an amount owed, as specified. the California Emergency Services Act, requires the Governor to coordinate the State Emergency Plan and any programs necessary for the mitigation of the effects of an emergency in this state, as specified. The act authorizes the Governor, with advice of the Office of Emergency Services, to divide the state into mutual aid regions for the more effective application, administration, and coordination of mutual aid and other emergency-related activities. The act requires the Office of Emergency Services, in consultation with relevant local and state agencies, to develop and adopt a state fire service and rescue emergency mutual aid plan as an annex to the State Emergency Plan.
This bill would require a nonprofit or public fire department with that has volunteer firefighters that receives federal, state, or local reimbursement through a fire agreement for personnel costs associated with firefighting performed on an occasional or sporadic basis in which its volunteer firefighters have participated to pass through to those volunteers an amount equivalent to 20% of the annual amount that otherwise would be required to hire a permanent employee for the same services. The bill would set timelines for issuing the reimbursements to the volunteer firefighters and would require the fire departments utilizing volunteer firefighters to maintain records of those reimbursements, as specified. and receives reimbursement from the federal, state, or local government through a mutual aid request, if the applicable fire agreement is intended to reimburse for personnel costs for work performed associated with firefighting in which the volunteer firefighters of the fire department have participated, to pass through to those volunteers specific reimbursement. The bill would require a fire department that utilizes the services of volunteer firefighters to maintain documentation of reimbursements and allow access to those records as prescribed. The bill would require a fire department to cease using the services of any volunteer firefighter to provide mutual aid response pursuant to the fire agreement who has received pass-through reimbursements that exceed during the fiscal year 20% of the statewide average amount that otherwise would be required to hire a permanent employee to provide the same services and would prohibit such a volunteer from engaging in mutual aid response for the fire department until the following fiscal year. The bill would authorize a volunteer to pursue reimbursement in a civil action if the fire department fails to reimburse the volunteer firefighter in accordance with the bill. By increasing the duties of local officials, and expanding the scope of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

(2)The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 8619.7 is added to the Government Code, to read:

8619.7.
 (a) A nonprofit or public fire department that has volunteer firefighters and receives reimbursement from the federal, state, or local government through a mutual aid request, if the applicable fire agreement is intended to reimburse for personnel costs for work performed associated with firefighting in which the volunteer firefighters of the fire department have participated, shall pass through to those volunteers the reimbursement amount defined according to the fire agreement for the specific mutual aid request, excluding normal payroll-related costs for the fire department accompanying the firefighting response.
(b) Reimbursement for a volunteer firefighter pursuant to subdivision (a) may be issued in monthly or annual nominal fees, benefits, expenses, or any combination thereof. If the fire department does not issue reimbursement in monthly or annual nominal fees, benefits, expenses, or any combination thereof, the fire department shall issue reimbursement to the volunteer firefighter not later than 45 days following the receipt of reimbursement funds by the fire department under the fire agreement.
(c) A fire department that utilizes the services of volunteer firefighters shall maintain documentation of reimbursements made to the volunteer firefighters for a period of not less than three years. A fire department subject to this subdivision shall afford a current or former volunteer firefighter the right to inspect or copy records pertaining to his or her service, upon reasonable request to that department.
(d) A fire department shall cease using the services of any volunteer firefighter to provide mutual aid response pursuant to the fire agreement who has received pass-through reimbursements, as described in subdivision (a), that exceed during the fiscal year 20 percent of the statewide average amount that otherwise would be required to hire a permanent employee to provide the same services. A volunteer firefighter subject to this subdivision shall not engage in mutual aid response for the fire department until the following fiscal year.
(e) If a fire department fails to reimburse a volunteer firefighter as described in this section, the volunteer firefighter may pursue reimbursement in a civil action.

SEC. 2.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
SECTION 1.Section 230.35 is added to the Labor Code, to read:
230.35.

(a)A nonprofit or public fire department that has volunteer firefighters and receives reimbursement from the federal government, state government, or local government through a fire agreement for personnel costs associated with firefighting in which its volunteer firefighters have participated and where the work is performed on an occasional or sporadic basis, shall pass through to those volunteers an amount equivalent to 20 percent of the annual amount that otherwise would be required to hire a permanent employee for the same services.

(b)Reimbursement for a volunteer firefighter under this section may be issued in monthly or annual nominal fees, benefits, expenses, or any combination thereof. If not issued in monthly or annual nominal fees, benefits, expenses, or any combination thereof, reimbursement shall be issued to the volunteer firefighter not later than 30 days following the receipt of reimbursement funds by the fire department under the fire agreement.

(c)A fire department that utilizes the services of volunteer firefighters shall maintain documentation of the reimbursements made to the volunteer firefighters for a period of not less than three years. A fire department that is required by this section to keep the information required by this subdivision shall afford a current or former volunteer firefighter the right to inspect or copy records pertaining to his or her service upon reasonable request to that department.

SEC. 2.

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for certain costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district because, in that regard, this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.