In January 2024, Law Offices of Eric A. Boyajian, Employment Lawyers, recovered $500,000 for an employee who was wrongfully terminated for using his accrued sick time.
One day while at work, the employee was not feeling well and felt that he needed to see his doctor. The employee told the manager that he was leaving for the day to see his doctor and that he would be using his accrued sick time. The manager did not approve his absence and insisted that the employee remain at work because there was a lot of work to be done. But the employee left anyways. While at the doctor’s office, the manager called the employee and told him that he was fired for job abandonment.
The employer violated California’s Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, which is codified in California Labor Code sections 245-249. At the time, Labor Code 246(b)(4) stated that employers must provide no less than 24 hours or three (3) days of paid sick leave (or equivalent paid leave or paid time off) in each year of the employee’s employment.
The employer also violated Labor Code section 246.5(a), which states, “Upon the oral or written request of an employee, an employer shall provide paid sick days for the . . . [d]iagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition of, or preventive care for, an employee or an employee’s family member.”
The employer also violated Labor Code section (c)(1) states “An employer shall not deny an employee the right to use accrued sick days, discharge, threaten to discharge, demote, suspend, or in any manner discriminate against an employee for using accrued sick days, attempting to exercise the right to use accrued sick days, filing a complaint with the department or alleging a violation of this article, cooperating in an investigation or prosecution of an alleged violation of this article, or opposing any policy or practice or act that is prohibited by this article.”