Firefighters Bill of Rights
The enactment of the landmark Firefighters Bill of Rights gives California firefighters the fairest, most extensive privacy protection enjoyed by any public employee in the state.
Its approval in 2007 capped a 20-year legislative effort by California Professional Firefighters and ranks as one of the cornerstone accomplishments in CPF history.
The landmark measure is designed to apply common-sense principles of fairness and professionalism to the process of investigating and disciplining first responders. As with the original Peace Officers Bill of Rights approved in the 1980s, the Firefighters Bill of Rights puts in place basic procedural safeguards that recognize the unique role of first responders:
- No more unreasonable interrogation. The law requires that interrogation be conducted at reasonable hours, with compensation and without verbal or physical threats or extortion;
- Protection of basic rights. Individuals must be advised of their rights and secures the right of representation in any and all interrogations; prohibits unwarranted search of personal property or forced submission to polygraph testing;
- Maintaining professionalism. Authorizes recording any interrogation by employer or employee, and gives each access to the others recordings and transcripts; statements made under duress can't be used in judicial proceedings;
- Preserving appeal rights. Appeals process must conform to state Administrative Procedures Act.
Understanding the Firefighter Bill of Rights
In early 2016, CPF launched a series of videos designed to help front-line firefighters better understand their rights and responsibilities in disciplinary proceedings under FBOR.
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