Firefighter Bill of Rights

The Firefighters Bill of Rights (FBOR) gives California firefighters the fairest, most extensive on-the-job protections enjoyed by any public employee in the state. It was enacted in 2007 after a 20-year effort by California Professional Firefighters.

  • Prohibits unreasonable interrogations
  • Ensures that individuals are advised of rights to representation
  • Bans unwanted search of personal property
  • Bans forced polygraph testing
  • Allows recording of interrogations
  • Preserves appeal rights

This page outlines the specifics of the law, details scenarios and responses and includes a legal statement that can be recorded and used as evidence in the event of an illegal or forced interrogation.

Knowing Your Rights Can Save Your Job.

If you find you’re being asked questions that might result in disciplinary action or criminal prosecution:
  1. Ask if you are at risk of disciplinary action.
  2. Ask for union representation before responding to any questions.
  3. Insist that any statement be tape recorded.
  4. Don’t volunteer to take alie-detector, alcohol or drug test.
  5. Don’t reveal any personal financial information without a court order.
  6. Make note of physical or verbal abuse, threats, extortion or any other attempt to compel your answers.

Non-Waiver Statement

If you’re compelled to make a statement or answer questions in violation of your right to representation or any of the rights listed above, demand that it be recorded and read the following:

I am making this statement involuntarily, in compliance with a direct order made under penalty of sanction and/or termination. In compelling my statement without representation, you are in violation of the California Government Code, Sections 3250 through 3262, and are subject to civil penalties prescribed by law. I do not waive any of my rights under this law, our current union contract, any other local, state or federal law, or my right to remain silent under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.


You Have The Right …

  • To know if you are under investigation
  • To representation before answering any questions
  • To tape record any questioning
  • To have copies of all recordings and transcripts
  • To a written offer of immunity from criminal prosecution
  • To be questioned on-duty at a reasonable time
  • To be reassigned only to another normal department job during any probe
  • To review and sign adverse comment in any personnel-related file before it’s submitted
  • To attach a response to any adverse comment before it’s submitted
Never Answer Questions Without Representation

Before Any Questioning, Your Employer Must …

  • Tell you if you’re under investigation for misconduct
  • Tell you if your responses could result in discipline
  • Tell you the nature of any possible charges
  • Tell you who will be conducting any investigation
  • Tell you who will be interrogating you
  • Offer you written immunity from criminal prosecution
  • Authorize tape recording of any inquiry

Your Employer May Not …

  • Force you to answer questions without representation
  • Interrogate you off-duty without compensation
  • Subject you to physical or verbal abuse
  • Subject you to threats or promise of reward
  • Compel you to take a lie-detector test
  • Discipline you for refusing to take a lie-detector test
  • Search your private space without court order, unless you are present or give consent
  • Force you to reveal personal financial data, except by law or court order
Always Ask: “Can This Lead To Disciplinary Action?”
If The Answer Is “Yes,” Ask For Representation