STATEHOUSE (May 10, 2017) — State Rep. Kevin Mahan’s (R-Hartford City) legislation granting members of fire departments the option of representation when facing disciplinary action was ceremonially signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb Wednesday.
House Enrolled Act 1171 will help ensure firefighters are provided due process when facing termination or a demotion with cause. The legislation will allow full-time, paid, non-probationary firefighters to choose representation by legal counsel, a labor organization representative or another representative of their choice. Under this law, a firefighter is allowed up to three days to secure representation, at their own expense if they so choose, before meeting with their supervisor during the disciplinary process.
“These brave men and women serve and protect our community every day, and they should have the chance to adequately defend themselves when facing disciplinary action,” Mahan said. “With this new policy, firefighters are afforded the opportunity to have an advocate on their side, helping them through what is oftentimes a difficult and complicated process.”
Mahan said this law does not apply to members of fire departments who hold upper-level or policy-making positions, members who have been appointed to a position by the chief of the department or a department that has a merit-based system. Additionally, this legislation does not apply to any interview, interrogation or other interaction that is part of a firefighter’s conduct.
House Enrolled Act 1171 was passed unanimously by the Indiana House and Senate. The law goes into effect July 1.
State Rep. Kevin Mahan represents House District 31, which includes
Blackford County and portions of Delaware, Grant and Wells counties.
A high-resolution photo of Mahan can be downloaded by clicking here.