Volunteer Emergency Worker Job Protection

The Illinois Volunteer Emergency Worker Job Protection Act provides protection to employees who serve as volunteer emergency workers and are absent from or late to work due to their response to an emergency, or respond to an emergency phone call or text message that requests the employee’s volunteer emergency services. Select one of the links below for more information:

Eligibility
Approval & Documentation
Resources


Eligibility

An employee is eligible for this protection if he/she serves as a volunteer emergency worker and is absent from or late to employment due to a response to an emergency prior to the time the employee was to report to his/her place of employment, or responds to an emergency phone call or text message during work hours that requests the employee’s volunteer emergency services.

According to the Act, a "volunteer emergency worker" is an individual who meets the requirements of volunteer status in Section 553.106 of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations and U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Opinion Letters FLSA 2006-28 and FLSA 2005-51, and serves in one of the following volunteer roles:

  • Member of a fire department of a fire protection district, municipality, or other unit of government
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT, EMT-I, A-EMT, EMT-P)
  • Ambulance Driver or Attendant
  • First Responder
  • Member of county or municipal emergency services and disaster agency
  • Auxiliary policeman or deputy

Approval & Documentation

The employee must make a reasonable effort to notify his/her employer that he/she may be absent or late to work.

The employer has the right, following the employee's absence, to request that the employee provide a written statement from the supervisor or acting supervisor of the volunteer fire department or governmental entity that the volunteer emergency worker serves. This document should state that the employee responded to an emergency and indicate the time and date of the emergency.

This protection does not diminish or supersede University policies, collective bargaining agreements, administrative guidelines, or other applicable written rules administered by the University.

Existing written University policies governing the use of cell phones still apply. 


Resources

This job protection is provided for under State of Illinois Compiled Statutes 50 ILCS 748 - Volunteer Emergency Worker Job Protection Act.  Volunteer status requirements are determined by Section 553.106 of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations and U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Opinion Letters FLSA 2006-28 and FLSA 2005-51.