Monday, February 22, 2010

Interesting Employment Decision by CA Supreme Court

On February 18, 2010, the CA Supreme Court overruled the CA Court of Appeals and held that Labor Code Section 233 (aka "kinder care" statute), which permits an employee to use accrued paid sick leave to care for ill relatives, does not apply to paid sick leave employment agreements/policies that provide for an uncapped number of compensated days off. Thus, if your sick leave policy provides for a capped number of compensated days off, Labor Code 233 applies. If your sick leave policy is very generous and provides for unlimited sick days, you don't get the protection of Labor Code 233. This decision is twisted. Look up McCarther v. Pacific Telesis Group for the complete decision.

I believe in being fair to employers and understand that they are providing jobs, which is important for society. Employers need to be protected, just as much as employees need protection. However, in this case, the employers could have protected themselves very easily by simply revising their paid sick leave policy. The CA Supreme Court just took away an entire employment groups paid sick under Labor Code 233. I wouldn't be surprised if this case is revisited by the higher courts in the future.

I provide business litigation legal services in Southern California. I represent employers and employees. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. My webiste is

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Real Estate Brokers Be Wary

You must have a valid real estate brokers license to obtain compensation for brokering a real estate transaction. If you do not have a valid license at the time of providing the service, you have no right to compensation. See California Business & Professions Code 10136.

It is very popular in the real estate business to pay a "finder" fee to someone bringing a buyer and seller together. This technically is legal. See Tyrone v. Kelly, 9 Cal 3d 1, 11-12 (1973).

However, if the "finder" engages in negotiations between the parties, even to the slightest extent, a brokers license is required. See Rees v. DRE, 76 Cal App 3d 286, 295 (1977).

Thus, if the "finder" encourages one party to pay a certain price, offers advice about a fair price, or does anything other than simply introduce a buyer and seller, he risks not being entitled to any compensation. Without a valid license, no payment can be had, despite having a contract or promise to do so.

I am attorney Robert A. Von Esch IV and I provide business litigation, commercial real estate, and construction defect legal services. More information about my practice can be found at

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Legal Advice About Your Home Remodel

No license no pay! That's right, if you are engaged in a construction dispute with your remodel contractor or any contractor, check the California State Contractors License Board website to verify whether his or her licence is in good standing.

If your contractor does not have a valid license in good standing, he or she has no right to collect any fees for work performed. You could have the contractor build you an entire house that cost $500,000 and owe him or her absolutely nothing if the work was performed without a valid contractor's license in good standing.

In fact, if your contractor has already finished the job and you have already paid your contractor for the work, you can demand reimbursement of all money paid. There are well known cases where contractors have worked on large commercial projects worth millions of dollars and accidentally allowed their license to expire, and have had to forgo any payment for their hard work.

If you are a contractor, there is a lesson to be learned: Keep Your License In Good Standing. If you are a consumer, there is also a lesson to be learned: Check Your Contractors License.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at