Volunteer Fire Department Administrators Not Wrongfully Terminated, Says Judge

According to The Gazette, a federal district court judge ruled that volunteer fire department administrators were not improperly fired, after they had sough judicial relief for what they claim were retaliatory dismissals from job duties. Judge Frederick Motz wrote in his opinion that defunding the positions did not constitute a wrongful termination as the administrators, as the individuals were employees of the volunteer fire departments and not the county. The county code states that employees who are paid with tax money are not county employees and cannot be afforded the same protections. An employment attorney can answer your questions if you have been wrongfully terminated.

Motz did not offer a judgment on the claim that the administrators were targeted as a result of their opposition to a proposal to begin charging a fee for ambulance transportation. The judge wrote that the courts are not able to consider legislative motives involving budget cuts.

The county fire department administrators filed a lawsuit saying the county terminated their employment in retaliation against volunteer firefighters who publicly opposed a fee for ambulance users, even though budget cuts deemed the proposal necessary to pay for funding for volunteer fire departments supporting positions. Administrators from local volunteer fire departments joined the suit, asking for reinstatement of their money and $10,000 each, plus money to cover general damages and lost wages.



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