This week, state House Majority Leader John Bell (R-Wayne) filed HB 1001, Uniformed Civil Service Act, to provide employment protections for members of the North Carolina Civil Air Patrol, which is a volunteer organization that serves as the official auxiliary of the United States Air Force.
The legislation prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating against employees for absences while performing authorized duties for the Civil Air Patrol. The total absences in a calendar year cannot exceed 14 days per year and no more than 7 consecutive days. Currently, such protections are only in place for state employees.
“Volunteers with the Civil Air Patrol are vital to North Carolina’s emergency response efforts, especially during natural disasters,” said Rep. Bell. “I have seen their impact firsthand when dealing with flooding in eastern North Carolina. This legislation will provide much needed employment protections for these men and women to help ensure they can serve their state when we need them most.”
In North Carolina, the Civil Air Patrol’s over 2,000 volunteers provide crucial assistance in emergency management services and response efforts, including performing aerial assessments, assisting in search-and-rescues, supporting ground-and-air communications, and transporting and distributing supplies.
Senior House Appropriations Chair Jason Saine, House Rules Committee Chairman Destin Hall and Deputy House Majority Leader Brenden Jones are also primary sponsors of the legislation.