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AB-1283 Firefighting: federal reimbursements: volunteer firefighters.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 06/21/2017 09:00 PM
AB1283:v96#DOCUMENT

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, relating to volunteer firefighters.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1283, as amended, Rodriguez. Firefighting: federal 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.
This bill would require a nonprofit or public fire department with volunteer firefighters that receives federal 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, consistent with United States Department of Labor guidance on maintaining the volunteer status of firefighters. 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. 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.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


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, consistent with United States Department of Labor guidance on maintaining the volunteer status of these firefighters. 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.