California: PAGA Claims Possible for Paid Sick Leave Violations


All Employers with CA Employees


February 24, 2023



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Quick Look

  • Employees may bring PAGA claims for paid sick leave violations.


In Wood v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, the California Court of Appeal stated that employees can bring Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims for violations of the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act (HWHF), the state paid sick leave law. Here, an employee claimed the employer failed to properly pay employees for sick leave time and denied their ability to use sick leave.

The HWHF Act provides for enforcement through the California Labor Commissioner or Attorney General. PAGA allows individuals to act in the place of the Attorney General to enforce state Labor Code claims on behalf of themselves and all other “aggrieved employees.” Because the HWHF Act says that the law does “not diminish, alter, or negate any other legal rights, remedies, or procedures available to an aggrieved person,” the court interpreted this to mean that employees may bring PAGA actions to enforce the Act.

PAGA provides for civil penalties that can add up quickly and includes attorneys’ fees for the prevailing plaintiff. As a result, employers must take care to ensure that paid sick leave policies are properly drafted and followed.


Action Items

  1. Review paid sick leave policy for compliance.
  2. Have appropriate personnel trained on paid sick leave requirements.
  3. Have payroll processes audited to ensure proper leave tracking and compensation.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.


Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser. © 2023 ManagEase