LANSING, Mich.— Sen. Patrick Colbeck and Rep. Andrea LaFontaine have introduced legislation to stop discrimination faced by employees who miss work due to their service in the Michigan Civil Air Patrol. The legislation has bipartisan support.
Senate Bill 310 and House Bill 4537 create the Civil Air Patrol Employee Protection Act, which will protect workers from undue discipline or discharge when they are called up during emergency situations. The legislation also provides a means for employees to bring a lawsuit against an employer who levies unreasonable punishments or dismissal.
“When Michigan is most in need, selfless individuals like those members of the Michigan Civil Air Patrol step forward and offer their skills and expertise to save those in trouble,” said Colbeck, R-Canton. “The idea that these hard-working employees could be disciplined for making such a selfless sacrifice is reprehensible. This legislation will protect them from unwarranted discipline and dismissal by employers.”
LaFontaine said these individuals must be protected.
“Those who serve in the Civil Air Patrol deserve employee protections because they’re the people we rely on when faced with emergencies,” said LaFontaine, R-Columbus Township. “Members of the Michigan Wing conduct search and rescue missions, aid homeland security and respond to disasters across the Great Lakes state. They should have employee protections, not workplace discrimination.”
In addition, the Civil Air Patrol Employee Protection Act would allow employers to consider time spent serving in the air patrol as unpaid time off, thereby adhering to previously negotiated collective bargaining agreements.
SB 310 has been referred to the Senate Commerce Committee and HB 4537 has been sent to the House Committee on Commerce and Trade.