In the United States, there are multiple laws and acts governing firefighting and the rights of firefighters. Perhaps the law with the greatest impact on fire department operations is the Fair Labor Standards Act, which regulates the hours firefighters may work before overtime must be paid and compensatory time, substitutions, early reliefs, and paid details, none of which are permitted in the private sector.
In volunteer service, this act places restrictions on the benefits personnel can receive and still qualify as volunteers. Without the Fair Labor Standards Act, the fire service would be very different in terms of compensation, staffing, hours, and personnel. This act also establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards impacting workers in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments.
The following are other important laws and acts firefighters should be aware of, as they directly affect their rights and career:
Unfortunately, military firefighters who struggle with cancer and other diseases as a result of their occupation have a difficult time accessing the VA benefits they are entitled to, as the VA does not currently recognize the connection between military service as a firefighter and disability. For this reason, the Michael Lecik Military Firefighters Protection Act was introduced in 2021 by Representative Abigail Spanberger.
The bill was named in honor of Michael Lecik, a military firefighter who died of multiple myeloma and whose VA disability compensation claim was rejected. If the Michael Lecik Military Firefighters Protection Act becomes law, the VA would have to recognize the connection between military firefighting and a series of diseases, including lung diseases, kidney cancer, heart disease, and bladder cancer.
If you are or were a civilian or military firefighter who was exposed to AFFF on the job and now struggle with a related disease, we encourage you to contact Atraxia Law, as we have the necessary experience, resources, and knowledge to help you find out whether you are eligible to file a claim and obtain compensation from the liable manufacturers. The process is simple and requires minimal involvement from you, as we understand how overwhelming suffering from a serious disease can be.
With over 35 years of experience in evaluating toxic exposure and personal injury claims, our expert team will gladly help you find out whether you are entitled to compensation if you are a civilian or military firefighter injured by AFFF exposure on the job. The only documents we will need from you are your employment or military records and your medical records. Eligible firefighters will be put in touch with a reliable, trustworthy attorney.