Gov. Markell Signs Bills To Protect Volunteer First Responders From Losing Their Regular Jobs

Sep 07, 2013 -- 7:31am

Delaware Governor Jack Markell has signed a pair of bills into law to protect volunteer first responders from discrimination by their employers.

Governor Markell signed House Bills 21 and 22, sponsored by Representative Debra Heffernan, into law on Friday at the Brandywine Hundred Fire Company. House Bill 21, the Volunteer Emergency Responders Job Protection Act, prevents employers from firing or taking disciplinary action against an employee who misses up to seven days while responding to a state of emergency declared by the Governor, or up to 14 days while responding to a federally declared state of emergency. Employees who are volunteer firefighters or paramedics also can’t be fired or disciplined if they have to miss work because of injuries sustained while acting as emergency responders.

HB 22 bars employers from discriminating in hiring or firing a person because of their membership in volunteer fire companies, ladies auxiliaries or the Fire Police.

Rep. Heffernan and Senator Harris McDowell sponsored the bills after a firefighter was fired by his employers after his hands were burnt while fighting a house fire.

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