Van De Kamp, 040684 CAAGO, AGO 83-1206

Docket Nº:AGO 83-1206
Case Date:April 06, 1984
Court:California
 
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JOHN K. VAN DE KAMP Attorney General
RODNEY O. LILYQUIST Deputy Attorney General
AGO 83-1206
No. 83-1206
California Attorney General Opinion
Office of the Attorney General State of California
April 6, 1984
         THE HONORABLE JERRY PARTAIN, DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY, has requested an opinion on the following question:          Is an employee of the Department of Forestry who is receiving industrial disability benefits pursuant to Government Code section 19871 entitled to benefit payments that are measured by the "fire mission" salary rate which otherwise would be paid to him or her during a declared fire mission season as compensation for 24-hour readiness?          CONCLUSION          An employee of the Department of Forestry who is receiving industrial disability benefits pursuant to Government Code section 19871 is entitled to benefit payments that are measured by the "fire mission" salary rate which otherwise would be paid to him or her during a declared fire mission season as compensation for 24-hour readiness.          ANALYSIS          The general duty of the Department of Forestry ("Department") in the prevention and suppression of fires is stated in Public Resources Code section 4143 as follows: "The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the maintenance of the economic well-being of the state and the public health and safety require that the state, through the department, obtain full utilization of all equipment, personnel, and buildings under the jurisdiction of the director. In order to obtain these benefits, the director, in accordance with policy determined by the board, may provide personnel for and operate such fire stations, statewide, as the director deems necessary to provide the best possible fire prevention and suppression. . . ."          Department employees who have firefighting responsibilities are required to be on 24-hour readiness during the period of the year designated by the director as "fire mission" season. During "nonfire mission season," such readiness is not required, and the rate of pay is less than that received during fire mission season. (See Pub. Resources Code, § 4144.) ...

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