Proposed Bill Protects Rights of Volunteers - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Miner, MO

Proposed Bill Protects Rights of Volunteers

Proposed Bill Protects Rights of Volunteers
By: CJ Cassidy

MINER, Mo. - Would you favor a new law protecting people from losing their jobs, if they volunteered to help clean up after a major disaster?

That's exactly what would happen if a Homeland Security Bill, now making it's way through the Senate, becomes law.

A local man hopes it passes because he says he knows exactly what can happen otherwise.

Wayne Harris will never forget the devastation he saw in Caruthersville after last year's tornado.

He was part of a first responder volunteer team sent to the area.

"On the way down there, I called my supervisor and left a message.  I got a phone call the next day, to see if I was at work.  I said no. He says 'Well we don't have a job for you,'" Harris said.

At the time, Harris worked for Tipton Linen, delivering linen to hotels and restaurants.

"I actually thought that he would have a heart.  He would actually be supportive in having one of employees helping out a community in need," Harris said.

Tipton owner, Tom Tipton claims Wayne Harris never called.  He said Harris simply didn't show up.  Tipton said Harris may have called hours after he should have shown up, but added "We knew he was quitting anyway; his heart wasn't in it.  As long as I can get my product to my customers, I encourage people to volunteer."

"I had no intention of quitting, it was a good paying job.  It was rough.  The bills started backing up, when I was out of a job and I lost a few things," Harris said.

Scott County First Responders back Harris.

In a letter, they say "Mr. Harris was told he had to be at work, not at a disaster to help people."

Like Wayne Harris, other volunteers believe a law protecting their jobs would bring them peace of mind when they take on the horrors of a disaster.

"They have families to raise.  Without a job they can't get anywhere," he said.

Harris now has another job, but he also continues to volunteer.

At last check, the bill is moving through the Senate.  If they pass it, the president must sign off on the bill before it becomes a law.

  • Heartland NewsMore>>

  • 1 killed after 3 vehicle crash on Highway 25 in Cape Girardeau Co. MO

    1 killed after 3 vehicle crash on Highway 25 in Cape Girardeau Co. MO

    Sunday, August 19 2018 2:50 PM EDT2018-08-19 18:50:09 GMT
    1 person died in the crash (Source: Raycom Media)1 person died in the crash (Source: Raycom Media)

    According to Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Clark Parrott, Troop E officers were at the scene of a three-vehicle deadly crash in southern Cape Girardeau County.

    According to Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Clark Parrott, Troop E officers were at the scene of a three-vehicle deadly crash in southern Cape Girardeau County.

  • Cape Girardeau County, MO man missing

    Cape Girardeau County, MO man missing

    Sunday, August 19 2018 1:25 PM EDT2018-08-19 17:25:27 GMT
    Mason has no vehicle and has a breathing condition. (Source: Family submitted)Mason has no vehicle and has a breathing condition. (Source: Family submitted)

    A man from Cape Girardeau County, Mo. went gone missing on Saturday, August 18.

    A man from Cape Girardeau County, Mo. went gone missing on Saturday, August 18.

  • Fire contained to oven in Cape Girardeau, MO

    Fire contained to oven in Cape Girardeau, MO

    Sunday, August 19 2018 12:42 PM EDT2018-08-19 16:42:57 GMT
    Cape Girardeau, Missouri fire crews contained a fire to an oven that was turned on self-cleaning mode at a house on Henderson Street near Themis. (Source: Cape Girardeau Fire Department)Cape Girardeau, Missouri fire crews contained a fire to an oven that was turned on self-cleaning mode at a house on Henderson Street near Themis. (Source: Cape Girardeau Fire Department)
    Cape Girardeau, Missouri fire crews contained a fire to an oven that was turned on self-cleaning mode at a house on Henderson Street near Themis. (Source: Cape Girardeau Fire Department)Cape Girardeau, Missouri fire crews contained a fire to an oven that was turned on self-cleaning mode at a house on Henderson Street near Themis. (Source: Cape Girardeau Fire Department)

    Cape Girardeau, Missouri fire crews contained a fire to an oven that was turned on self-cleaning mode at a house on Henderson Street near Themis.

    Cape Girardeau, Missouri fire crews contained a fire to an oven that was turned on self-cleaning mode at a house on Henderson Street near Themis.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • breaking

    Sheriff: Body found in Mississippi River

    Sheriff: Body found in Mississippi River

    Sunday, August 19 2018 2:21 PM EDT2018-08-19 18:21:39 GMT
    Sunday, August 19 2018 2:39 PM EDT2018-08-19 18:39:08 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    According to Mississippi County Sheriff Dale Cook, a body will be sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock for an autopsy after the body was discovered this weekend in the Mississippi River. 

    According to Mississippi County Sheriff Dale Cook, a body will be sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock for an autopsy after the body was discovered this weekend in the Mississippi River. 

Powered by Frankly