Thursday, April 19, 2007

Andersen v. WCAB (Cal. Ct. App. - April 19, 2007)

Sometimes it isn't hard to read between the lines. As amply revealed by the first three paragraphs of this opinion by Justice Coffee:

"John Andersen sustained industrial injuries while working for respondent City of Santa Barbara (City). Andersen filed a workers' compensation claim contending that City discriminated against him by forcing him to use vacation time rather than sick leave to obtain medical care for those injuries. (Lab. Code,1 § 132a.). . . .
On April 6, 2006, Board concluded that City did not violate the anti-discrimination provisions of section 132a, and therefore, Andersen is not entitled to restoration of the vacation time he used for such medical appointments.

Andersen petitioned this court for a writ of review. We summarily denied this petition and Andersen sought review in our Supreme Court. His petition to the Supreme Court raised only the issue of whether City violated section 132a. The Supreme Court granted the petition, and transferred the matter back to this court with directions to vacate our summary denial and issue a writ of review to be heard on calendar. We have done so.

We now conclude that City violated section 132a by requiring Andersen to use his earned vacation time rather than sick leave to attend medical appointments to care for his industrial injuries. We also conclude that Board properly applied SB 899, and substantial evidence supports the apportionment opinion of the AME."

In other words: "Oh, I'm sorry. Did I say that we summarily deny the writ? I meant, of course, that we grant the writ. Thanks for the head's up, California Supreme Court. Message heard and received."