California Leave Law Expanded to Cover Emergency Rescue Personnel and Reserve Peace Officers

  • August 22, 2013

An amendment to the California Labor Code mandating temporary leaves of absence for firefighters, reserve peace officers, and emergency rescue personnel (Labor Code Section 230.4) will become effective on January 1, 2014.

A.B. 11, signed by Governor Jerry Brown, amends the Labor Code to require employers with at least 50 employees to provide temporary leaves of absence of up to 14 days per calendar year to employees who serve as volunteer firefighters, reserve peace officers or emergency rescue personnel for the purpose of engaging in fire, law enforcement or emergency rescue training. The prior legislation applied only to volunteer firefighters and did not cover “emergency rescue training.” 

Under the new law, employers are prohibited from discharging, demoting, suspending or otherwise discriminating against employees who take time off to engage in fire, law enforcement, or emergency rescue training. Aggrieved employees may file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner and are entitled to reinstatement, lost wages and work benefits for violations.

California employers should consider updating their leave policies to include the additional categories of employees eligible for this leave. Training supervisors regarding the expansion of this law also should be considered.

If you have any questions about this or other workplace developments, please contact the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.

©2013 Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Focused on labor and employment law since 1958, Jackson Lewis P.C.'s 950+ attorneys located in major cities nationwide consistently identify and respond to new ways workplace law intersects business. We help employers develop proactive strategies, strong policies and business-oriented solutions to cultivate high-functioning workforces that are engaged, stable and diverse, and share our clients' goals to emphasize inclusivity and respect for the contribution of every employee. For more information, visit