Personal/vacation time that has been earned prior to termination of employment is recoverable as wages. Sick leave is not
recoverable, unless you have a written employment contract stating that you are entitled to be paid for unused sick leave.
The reason for the difference in treatment is that sick leave is intended to be used only when a person is ill or disabled -- whereas personal/vacation time is available for any purpose. Thus, once an employee is terminated, he/she can recover personal/vacation time for its cash value, whereas he/she cannot recover for sick leave, as a terminated employee cannot take time off sick from a job that he/she no longer has.
Concerning your unpaid rest and meal breaks, you may want to contact any former coworker whom you trust and see if that person will testify to corroborate your claims of being denied this time -- because without proof, your claim could end up being your word against the employer as to whether or not you were provided with the required break periods. Other than that, you will have to contact DLSE and file a claim.
Concerning your personnel file, an employer is only required to maintain confidentiality of your medical/health care records. However, as a general practice, most former employers will not disclose employee records to any prospective employer, because of the danger of a defamation (libel/slander) or interference with future contract lawsuit by the former employee. The typical employer does no more than verifies start and end date for a former employee.
If you believe that your employer has actually damaged your reputation with false statements about you, then you could hire an employment rights lawyer and sue.For a referral, see this link.
Hope this helps.
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