Paid Sick Leave under California Law and PAGA

California’s Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (Healthy Workplaces Act), which is found at Labor Code § 245, requires certainicon-gavel employers to provide their employees with at least three paid sick days per year. Employers that violate this law may be subject to a host of damages, including liquidated damages and civil penalties.

A recent case from the Fourth District Court of Appeal found that employees could bring a claim under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) for violations of the Healthy Workplaces Act. In Wood v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (D079528, filed on February 24, 2023), the plaintiff claimed that Kaiser was:

  1. Not paying sick leave at the correct rate;
  2. Wrongfully denying employees the right to use sick leave; and
  3. Violating California law regarding vacation pay.

The trial court dismissed the plaintiff’s claim without leave to amend. However, the court of appeal reversed.

The court of appeal found that language in the Healthy Workplaces Act limiting the types of damages that could be brought in cases brought “on behalf of the public as provided for under applicable state law” did not include PAGA claims. Rather, it refers to the different statutory scheme found in the Unfair Competition Law (Bus. and Prof. Code § 17200, et seq.).

If you have questions about your right to paid sick leave under California law, please feel free to contact the attorneys at Hunter Pyle Law to make use of our free and confidential intake process. You can reach us at,, of (510) 444-4400.