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Labor Code Section 233 Inapplicable to Certain Uncapped Paid Sick Leave Policies

By FindLaw Staff on February 19, 2010 11:50 AM

In Full text of McCarther v. Pac. Telesis Group, No. S164692, the California Supreme Court was faced with the question of statutory construction concerning Labor Code section 233 arising from plaintiffs' suit against their employers for being denied paid for leave to care for plaintiffs' relatives. 

In reversing Court of Appeals' decision in favor of the plaintiffs finding that defendants' sickness absence policy constituted a sick leave within the meaning of section 233, the Court explained the statute as follows: "The statute does not apply to any and all forms of compensated time off for illness, but only to 'sick leave' as defined by the statute and only in the amount specified.  The facts...indicate[] that the reach of the statute is limited to employers that provide a measurable, banked amount of sick leave."

Thus, the court held that Labor Code section 233 does not apply to paid sick leave policies that provide for an uncapped number of compensated days off. 

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