(70 ILCS 705/16.16a) (from Ch. 127 1/2, par. 37.16a)
    Sec. 16.16a. (a) No fire protection district may make or enforce any rule or ordinance which will in any way inhibit or prohibit any employee from exercising his full political rights to engage in political activities, including the right to petition, make speeches, campaign door to door, and to run for public office, so long as the employee does not use his official position to coerce or influence others and does not engage in these activities while he is at work on duty.
    (b) A person who is a member or officer of a fire department who is injured or becomes ill while in the performance of his duties and because of such injury is temporarily unable to continue to perform his duties or who enters the military or naval service of the United States because of war in which the United States is a party or as required by an Act of Congress, shall upon written application, be granted a disability or military leave as the case may be.
    (c) A person who is on disability leave or military leave granted by the board and who wishes to return to active duty in his position, if otherwise qualified, shall be reinstated to his position at the rank or grade held at the start of the leave, not more than 60 days after his written request for reinstatement is filed with the board. Such request shall be filed not more than 30 days after termination of the disability or military or naval service. If the leave was for an injury or illness incurred in the performance of duty or because of military or naval service, the person shall be credited with seniority in the department and in his rank or grade for the period of such leave.
    If a fire department is at full strength, the procedure would be to place the last person hired on furlough and reinstate the returning serviceman or woman.
(Source: P.A. 86-562.)