Construction Worker Remedies Paid Sick Leave Violations

California’s Paid Sick Day law is essential to workers with ongoing health conditions. Julio Santos Guzman, a construction worker in Sacramento, called the Center for Workers’ Rights because his employer would not pay him for the days he took off each year for his dialysis treatment. 

Employees who work for more than 90 days for an employer are entitled to accrue paid sick leave at one hour per every 30 hours worked and are required to provide their employees a minimum of 24 hours (3 days) of sick time per year. Furthermore, employees are prohibited from restricting when employees use their accrued paid sick leave and may not discipline their employees for utilizing their sick time. The law also requires that employers provide the accrued sick time available to the employee on their pay stub, or on a separate document provided on the same day of wage payment. 

From CWR’s first conversation with Julio in 2020, we saw that Julio’s employer was not following the law. Julio never received pay for the time he took off for dialysis and none of his pay stubs showed any sick pay accrued.  

Filing a claim with the Labor Commissioner’s office, Julio was able to request the pay for the days he took off for his dialysis treatments and related penalties.  On August 15, 2023, the Labor Commissioner agreed that Julio’s employer had violated the law and issued a decision requiring his employer to pay his claimed amounts. It takes a tremendous amount of bravery for workers to stand up to their employers, which can often put them in the cross hairs for retaliation or even dismissal. We applaud Julio for his self advocacy and the example he has set for other workers in his industry to stand up and fight for their rights. 

If you or someone you know suspects an employer of not following the California law protecting paid sick leave, please call our hotline at 916-905-5857

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