McCormick v. California Public Employees' Retirement SystemAnnotate this Case
McCormick, working as a Lake County appraiser, developed medical symptoms, including pain, fatigue, and dizziness, that seemed to be caused by her office environment. After her employer denied her request to work in a different location, she applied for disability retirement. Adopting the decision of an administrative law judge, the Board of Administration of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) denied her application on the basis that her condition did not prevent her from performing her job duties at a theoretical different location. The trial court denied relief. The court of appeal reversed. Employees are eligible for CalPERS disability retirement under Government Code section 21156 when, due to a disability, they can no longer perform their usual duties at the only location where their employer will allow them to work, even if they might be able to perform those duties at a theoretical different location. Her usual duties required McCormick to work in the Lakeport courthouse, and whether she could have performed her duties elsewhere is irrelevant to her eligibility for disability retirement under section 21156.