Illinois Compiled Statutes
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70 ILCS 705/16.13b
(70 ILCS 705/16.13b)
(from Ch. 127 1/2, par. 37.13b)
Unless the employer and a labor organization have agreed
to a contract provision providing for final and binding arbitration of
disputes concerning the existence of just cause for disciplinary action,
no officer or member of the fire department of any protection district who
has held that position for one year shall be removed or discharged
except for just cause, upon written charges specifying the
complainant and the basis for the charges, and after a hearing on those
charges before the board of fire commissioners, affording the officer or
member an opportunity to be heard in his own defense. In such case the
appointing authority shall file with the board of trustees the reasons for
such removal or discharge, which removal or discharge shall not become
effective unless confirmed by a majority vote of the board of trustees.
If written charges are brought against an officer or member,
the board of fire commissioners shall conduct a fair and impartial hearing
of the charges, to be commenced within 30 days of the filing thereof, which
hearing may be continued from time to time. The Chief of the department
shall bear the burden of proving the guilt of the officer or member by a
preponderance of the evidence. In case an officer or member is found
guilty, the board may discharge him, or may suspend him not exceeding 30
calendar days without pay. The board may suspend any officer or member
pending the hearing with or without pay, but in no event shall the
suspension pending hearing and the ultimate suspension imposed on the
officer or member, if any, exceed 30 calendar days without pay in the
aggregate. If the board of fire commissioners determines that the charges
are not sustained, the officer or member shall be reimbursed for all wages
withheld or lost, if any. In the conduct of this hearing, each member of
the board shall have power to secure by its subpoena both the attendance
and testimony of witnesses and the production of books and papers relevant
to the hearing.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, a probationary employment period may be extended beyond one year for a firefighter who is required as a condition of employment to be a licensed paramedic, during which time the sole reason that a firefighter may be discharged without a hearing is for failing to meet the requirements for paramedic licensure.
The age for mandatory retirement of firemen in the service of any
department of such district is 65 years, unless the board of trustees shall
by ordinance provide for an earlier mandatory retirement age of not less
than 60 years.
The provisions of the Administrative Review Law, and all amendments and
modifications thereof, and the rules adopted pursuant thereto, shall apply
to and govern all proceedings for the judicial review of final
administrative decisions of the board of fire commissioners hereunder. The
term "administrative decision" is defined as in Section 3-101 of the Code
of Civil Procedure.
Nothing in this Section shall be construed to prevent the Chief of the
fire department from suspending without pay a member of his department for
a period of not more than 5 consecutive calendar days, but he shall
notify the board in writing of such suspension. Any fireman so suspended
may appeal to the board of fire commissioners for a review of the
suspension within 5 calendar days after such suspension. Upon such appeal,
the Chief of the department shall bear the burden of proof in establishing
the guilt of the officer or member by a preponderance of the evidence. The
board may sustain the action of the Chief of the department, may reduce the
suspension to a lesser penalty, or may reverse it with instructions that
the officer or member receive his pay and other benefits withheld for the
period involved, or may suspend the officer for an additional period of not
more than 30 days, or discharge him, depending upon the facts presented.
(Source: P.A. 98-973, eff. 8-15-14.)