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This is an issue about the phone company's employment practices and guidliness. The answer to this question would be found in their employment manual or handbook which serves as a contract of sorts between your co-worker and your/his employer. So long as the employer applies the guidliness evenly and fairly across the board, it should not be an issue. In other words, the phone company could make an employee choose between his employment at the phone company and his work as a fire fighter. So, while it looks bad on the phone company's part to have done this, it does not appear to have been illegal.
I know this is not the answer you wanted to hear; but I am assuming that you are paying for a professional and honest answer.