WASHINGTON STATE

HOUSE DEMOCRATS

First Responder Military Leave Fix Passes Legislature

OLYMPIA – Military service members in the National Guard or other branches of the Armed Forces often end up in civilian jobs that have irregular or nontraditional work shifts, such as firefighters or emergency medical services. Under current law, sometimes those shifts end up costing employees two days of military leave instead of one. Under a new bill passed by the Legislature (HB 2851) sponsored by Representative Kristine Reeves, D-Federal Way, armed forces members will no longer be double-charged for their service.

Under Reeves’ bill, when an employee requests military leave and that leave covers a shift that extends into another calendar day, the employee is charged one day of leave. Currently, some local governments interpret the existing law to require two calendar days of military leave be assessed, essentially charging military service members twice for a single shift.

“Our service members that work in the civilian sector put their lives on hold to serve their state and country,” said Reeves. “This law corrects a mistake in the law and ends the double-charging of leave to those armed forces personnel that serve their country, state, and community.”

The bill passed the House and Senate unanimously and awaits approval from the governor.