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Leave & Job Protection for Volunteer Workers

Leave & Job Protection for Volunteer Emergency Management, Emergency Services & Disaster Workers

On April 24, 2008, Governor Bill Ritter signed House Bill 08-1097 into law; now located in Colorado Revised Statutes §24-33.5-822-828 following the reorganization in House Bill 12-1283.  The bill provides leave and job protection for volunteer emergency management, emergency services, and disaster workers under certain circumstances.

The bill went into effect August 6, 2008. Now, Civil Air Patrol and other volunteer emergency workers working for qualified volunteer organizations, who are requested to respond to a disaster emergency, will be entitled to take leave for up to 15 working days each year. Private sector employees will be entitled to unpaid leave and government workers will be entitled to paid leave. All are protected against loss of job, seniority, retirement benefits, rank, etc., while on such leave.

In order to be qualified, volunteer organizations must be certified to the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Office of Emergency Management by a sheriff, local government, state agency, or by a local emergency planning committee (LEPC). The certification attests that the organization and the sheriff or director of a local government, state agency, or LEPC have developed and signed a memorandum of understanding covering use of the organization and its volunteers during disaster emergencies.  The required forms include:

Once the organization is listed, a volunteer member will be protected when he or she performs satisfactorily in a disaster emergency at the request of a sheriff, local or state agency, or LEPC and provides a certification of that from his or her own organization of the employing government.

Although they may be eligible under this law as well, volunteer firefighters are provided job protection for fire calls under another statute (CRS 31-30-1131). Red Cross volunteers eligible for disaster leave as state employees will be provided with a maximum total of 15 working days leave under this law and the Red Cross leave provisions.

No employer will be required to grant leave to more than 20% of his employees at any one time, and employees deemed essential to the employer’s operations and income or disaster services may likewise be denied leave.

The bill also removes some limitations on sovereign immunity protections to governments and volunteers within the Disaster Emergency Act.

If you have questions regarding this bill or the required procedures, call the Office of Emergency Management at 720-852-6600.

List of Qualified Volunteer Organizations

Qualified Volunteer Organization List
ORGANIZATION SPONSORING JURISDICTION  EFFECTIVE DATE
Larimer Search & Rescue, Inc. Larimer County 1/5/2009
Colorado Mounted Rangers Durango Police Department 4/20/2009
Routt County Search & Rescue Routt County Sheriff 5/11/2009
Colorado Mounted Rangers/ Colorado Rangers City of Salida 5/14/2009
Vail Police Department - Volunteers in Policing (VIP) Town of Vail Police Department 5/26/2009
Vail Citizen's Emergency Response Team (CERT) Town of Vail Police Department 5/26/2009
Colorado Mounted Rangers/ Colorado Rangers City of Rocky Ford Police 5/26/2009
Office of Emergency Management, Aguilar, Colorado Office of Emergency Management for the town of Aguilar 6/1/2009
Colorado Mounted Rangers/ Colorado Rangers Town of Bayfield

7/21/2009

Colorado Mounted Rangers/ Colorado Rangers Town of Monument 7/28/2009
Colorado Mounted Rangers/ Colorado Rangers Town of Palmer Lake 7/28/2009
Colorado Mounted Rangers/ Colorado Rangers La Plata County sheriff 11/3/2009
Colorado Mounted Rangers/ Colorado Rangers Town of Ordway 8/6/2010
Colorado Mounted Rangers/ Colorado Rangers Town of Green Mountain Falls Marshal's Office 8/5/2010
Colorado Mounted Rangers/ Colorado Rangers City of Manitou Springs Police Department 8/24/2010
Colorado Mounted Rangers/ Colorado Rangers Teller County 11/4/2010
Frontline Search & Rescue Teller County 11/4/2010
Teller County Search & Rescue Teller County 11/4/2010
Colorado Mounted Rangers/ Colorado Rangers Archuleta County Sheriff's Office 6/23/2011
Garfield County Search & Rescue Garfield County Sheriff's Office 12/15/2011
Colorado Mounted Rangers/ Colorado Rangers Canon City Area Fire Protection District 6/18/2012
Colorado Mounted Rangers/ Colorado Rangers Douglas County Sheriff's Office 6/18/2012
Colorado Mounted Rangers/ Colorado Rangers Town of Fairplay Police Department 7/3/2012
Colorado Mounted Rangers/ Colorado Rangers Fowler Police Department 7/9/2012
Colorado Mounted Rangers/ Colorado Rangers Salida Police Department

5/29/2012

 

Colorado Mounted Rangers Fremont County

5/3/2013

 

Colorado Mounted Rangers Town of Ft. Lupton

5/3/2013

Colorado Mounted Rangers

Community College of Aurora

5/3/2013

Colorado Mounted Rangers

Town of Elizabeth 5/3/2013

Alpine Rescue Team

Clear Creek County 5/3/2013

Boulder County Amateur Radio Emergency System

Boulder County 5/3/2013

 

Wetmore Fire

Blizzard

Bioterrorism exercise

La Junta flooding

 

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