Workers' Benefits: Search and Rescue Activity Leave of Absence
A search and rescue volunteer, who is authorized to participate in search and rescue activities by a sheriff, is entitled to a leave of absence from their regular employment. They will not have their sick days or vacation days taken away for volunteering, nor will they be removed or fired from their position during the period of absence.
Leave of absence from employment for search and rescue volunteer
(1) As used in this section: (a) “Employee” means an individual, other than a copartner of the employer or an independent contractor, who renders personal services in this state to an employer that pays or agrees to pay wages or other compensation to the individual for those services. (b) “Employer” means a person who employs one or more employees in this state. “Employer” includes the State of Oregon or a county, city, district, authority, public corporation or entity and any of their instrumentalities organized and existing under law or charter, but does not include the federal government. (2) Upon request of an employee who is a search and rescue volunteer accepted to participate in search and rescue activities by the sheriff, an employer may grant a leave of absence to the employee until release from the search and rescue activities permits the employee to resume the duties of employment. (3) The regular employment position of an employee on leave of absence under this section is considered vacant only for the period of the leave of absence. The employee is not subject to removal or discharge from the position as a consequence of the leave of absence. (4) Upon the termination of a leave of absence under this section, the employer shall restore the employee to the employee’s position or an equivalent position without loss of seniority, vacation credits, sick leave credits, service credits under a pension plan or any other employee benefit or right that had been earned at the time of the leave of absence. (5) An employer is not required to pay wages or other monetary compensation to an employee during a leave of absence under this section.