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California Supreme Court Rules Retirees Entitled To Prompt Pay

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Kershaw, Cook & Talley is a plaintiffs’ complex litigation and personal injury law firm in Sacramento, California representing individuals and businesses nationwide.


Sacramento-based law firm Kershaw, Cook & Talley recently achieved a significant victory on behalf of California retirees. On August 18, 2016, the California Supreme Court held in part that prompt pay protections “apply to persons who retire from their employment, just as they apply to those who voluntarily leave their employment for other reasons.” The class case, McLean v. State of California, et al., was brought by a retired deputy attorney general, Janis S. McLean, who alleged that the State of California violated Labor Code sections 202 and 203 by failing to pay timely final wages to State employees.

The issue was previously appealed to the Third District Court of Appeal, where the court of appeal agreed that the protections afforded under Labor Code sections 202 and 203 also protect retirees.  The court of appeal also determined that the State of California was properly sued as plaintiff’s “employer.”  The California Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the court of appeal’s judgment.

William A. Kershaw, of Kershaw Cook & Talley PC, argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of the plaintiff and putative class. Mr. Kershaw told Law360, “That with the state’s main defenses decided in our favor by the Supreme Court, [Ms. McLean] will return to the trial court to proceed with the claims on behalf of herself as well as a class of retired state employees.”

The case is McLean v. State of California, number S221554, in the Supreme Court of California.

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