Emergency Service leave is intended to provide state employees paid leave when the employee must be absent from work in order to provide volunteer emergency service. At the beginning of each calendar year, eligible state employees will receive forty hours of paid leave for use when providing emergency medical service in accordance with the statutory duties as defined by R.C. 4765.01 (G). At the end of each calendar year, any unused hours will not carry forward and will not be eligible for cash conversion.
All full-time and part-time permanent employees paid by warrant of the auditor of state are eligible for Emergency Service leave if the employee has met the certification requirements for holding a position as an EMT-basic, EMT-I, first responder, paramedic, or volunteer firefighter.
Employees who volunteer as an EMT-basic, EMT-I, first responder, paramedic, or volunteer firefighter must establish eligibility for emergency leave by providing their appointing authority with a valid certificate submitted in accordance with Section 4113.41(B)(1) of the Revised Code.
(B) An employee who is a volunteer firefighter or volunteer provider of emergency medical services shall do all of the following:
(1) Not later than thirty days after receiving certification as a volunteer firefighter or a volunteer provider of emergency services, submit to the employee's employer a written notification signed by the chief of the volunteer fire department with which the employee serves, or the medical director or chief administrator of the cooperating physician advisory board of the emergency medical organization with which the employee serves, to notify the employer of the employee's status as a volunteer firefighter or volunteer provider of emergency services.
Leave and Benefit Amount
Pursuant to R.C. 124.1310:
(B) A state employee who is an EMT-basic, EMT-I, first responder, paramedic, or volunteer firefighter shall receive forty hours of leave with pay each calendar year to use during those hours when the employee is absent from work in order to provide emergency medical service or fire-fighting service. An appointing authority shall compensate an employee who uses leave granted under this section at the employee's regular rate of pay for those regular work hours during which the employee is absent from work.
Unless otherwise specified, employees using Emergency Service leave remain in active pay status like any other form of paid leave and continue accruing vacation, personal, and sick time at the normal rate.
Request for Leave
This policy does not alter the local policy and procedure that agencies use for employees who are unable to report to work as scheduled because they are providing emergency medical or firefighting service. Further, this policy does not alter an employee's obligation to notify the agency as required by Section 4113.41(B)(2) of the Revised Code.
Employees requesting paid Emergency Service leave must use the standard Request for Leave form (ADM 4258) as soon as practicable. Employees must mark the box for "Other" and specifically indicate "Emergency Service Leave" on the form. Employees must also provide verification documentation as described below.
Employees who previously scheduled an absence using other forms of leave shall not be permitted to substitute the planned leave for Emergency Service leave.
In each instance that an employee is absent from work due to the employee providing emergency medical or firefighting service and the employee wishes to use Emergency Service leave, the absence must be verified in accordance with Section 4113.41(C) of the Revised Code.
R.C. 4113.41 (C):
"At the employer's request, an employee who loses time from the employee's employment to respond to an emergency shall provide the employer with a written statement from the chief of the volunteer fire department or the medical director or chief administrator of the cooperating physician advisory board of the emergency medical service organization, as applicable, stating that the employee responded to an emergency and listing the time of that response."
Injury or Illness due to Leave
Employees who experience medical complications as a result of taking Emergency Service leave, may apply for state disability leave benefits. Employees would be required to meet all eligibility criteria for disability leave, including serving a fourteen-day waiting period. Employees may utilize sick, vacation, personal leaves and/or compensatory time to receive pay during the fourteen-day waiting period and to supplement the 70% wages for the remaining time of disability leave benefits or any portion thereof.
Recovery of Improperly Paid Benefits
The director of Administrative Services shall initiate all necessary steps to recover Emergency Service leave benefits paid in error or paid as a result of fraud. The director may make any needed adjustments to ensure the proper payment of benefits. An employee who knowingly engages in fraud may be subject to discipline. When necessary, the director shall request the attorney general to take appropriate action to recover improperly paid benefits.
Effective Date: 5/16/03