What If I Might Be Sick or Have Been Exposed? What if I was not paid for taking sick leave?

If you were not paid for taking sick leave, you can file a wage claim with the Labor Commissioner's Office to get back your unpaid wages regardless of your immigration status.

If you took unpaid time for COVID-19 reasons in 2021 and 2022, you might still be able to request pay for Supplemental Paid Sick Leave.

COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Ended on December 31, 2022

From January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022, California required most employers to provide workers up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave for COVID-19 reasons. Employers with 26 or more employees during this period had to provide this paid time off for workers who needed to stay home due to COVID-19 illness, exposure, caring for a family member, a COVID test or vaccine, recovering from side effects and more. If a worker took unpaid time off due to COVID-19 in 2022, they should be paid for these sick leave hours. More information is available in the Labor Commissioner's frequently asked questions.

Who Can File

Any worker in California who was not paid wages while taking paid sick leave can file.

Remember to file your claim within three years of the violation.

How to Prepare

Gather relevant information, such as:

  • Your employer's address
  • The name of the company or individual you work for.
  • Information that indicates when you worked and what you should have been paid, such as pay stubs if they are available.

Make copies of the information so that you can send the copies and keep the original version.

Remember, the law requires your employer, not you, to maintain accurate records, but any evidence you can provide will help when filing a claim. Read more on supporting documents on the Labor Commissioner's website.

How to File

Once you have gathered the information about your employer and documents, if available, the next step in the process is to file a claim. You can file your claim by email, mail or in person. Download a claim form, complete and print it, attach applicable documents and send it to the Labor Commissioner's Office.

The claim forms and instructions can be downloaded and printed in  multiple languages.

Make sure to check the box at the top that indicates your claim is related to COVID-19.

If you need help filing your claim, visit or call a Labor Commissioner's Office location near you. To locate the office nearest you refer to the search for an office by zip code.

For updates on your wage claim, please email the district office where you filed your claim and include your claim number in the subject line. For general questions, please email DLSE2@dir.ca.gov.

More Resources

August 2023