Ask HR: Volunteers – Working time & taking calls

Dear HR: I have several staff members that are also volunteer firefighters. If all of them happened to be called to a fire at the same time, I would be so short-staffed I’d be forced to close my store until they return. Am I able to require them to take turns when they get calls?


HR Answer: Employers are generally not required to grant leave for volunteer firefighters of a rural fire protection district.

However, if the employer does grant the leave, that leave then becomes ‘protected time.’  Protected Time means that once you approve the off, you should not discipline them for attendance based on their time away. It is a best practice to put a policy in place address this issue.