California employers, both private and public, who employ more than fifteen employees, will be required to provide no less than ten days of leave per year for volunteer members of the Civil Air Patrol. This is to ensure that volunteers are able to respond to an emergency operational mission under a new law that will be effective starting January 1, 2010. Employee volunteer members are required to give the employer as much notice as possible of the intended leave dates and must be employed by their current employer for no less than ninety days immediately before the start date of the leave period. After the leave period has ended, an employer must restore the employee to his or her position or to a position with equivalent seniority, pay, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment.
California employers should update existing policies to ensure compliance. The new law will not override other employee benefit plans or rights provided for in collective bargaining agreements which provide employees with greater leave rights.