The California Senate and Assembly last week passed a modified version of Assembly Bill 155, a bill of interest to anyone who’s followed the Amazon.com tax battle that could impact some 10,000 affiliates of the online giant retailer.

On July 1, California passed its online sales tax law. But under the new bill, Amazon would get a one-year exemption on collecting sales tax, in exchange for dropping an initiative it was seeking on the recent tax legislation. The company had put $5.2 million toward the referendum.

The state had anticipated collecting $200 million in sales tax revenue from online retailers.

The bill now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, where it awaits his signature. He has not taken a position on the bill and has until Oct. 9 to take action. If he doesn’t sign or veto the bill, it becomes state law.***

A California appellate court has for the first time addressed when paid leave offered to an employee as a sabbatical is considered “paid vacation.”

California courts have previously ruled that departing employees must be paid for any accrued “paid vacation," but leave granted as part of a true sabbatical may be forfeited if it went unused before an employee departed.  

In Paton v. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., the court said a sabbatical is more than just additional vacation time. Paid leave must be “intended to retain the most experienced or valued employees or to enhance their future service to the employee” in order to qualify as a sabbatical.

Four factors separate a sabbatical from regular paid vacation, according to the decision by the Sixth Appellate District Court, which covers Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties:Sabbaticals are granted infrequently, typically every seven years;The length of leave achieves the purpose of a sabbatical. If no conditions are agreed upon as to how an employee spends time while on sabbatical, the length of leave should be longer than normally considered a vacation;  A sabbatical is granted in addition to regular vacation;The sabbatical includes that the employee is expected to return to work after the leave is over.•••Submit items for this column to Dan Verel at dverel@busjrnl.com, 707-521-4257 or fax 707-521-5292.