Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How to File a Complaint with the California Labor Commissioner

The office of the Labor Commissioner at the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) reviews claims of employees regarding employers who violate laws related to employment. Filing a complaint may involve strict deadlines, accurate completion of a number of forms, and collection and submission of evidence supporting your claim. The following includes some information regarding how to file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner.

Discrimination Complaints

Specific procedures must be followed in order to file a complaint regarding unlawful discrimination based on protected factors, harassment, retaliation for reporting discrimination or harassment, wrongful termination, or other related matters. To file a complaint, you must:

  • Be an applicant, employee, or former employee who suffered adverse employment actions (denial of job, demotion, termination, or other discipline) due to unlawful discrimination or retaliation.
  • File your complaint within six months of the discriminatory action (this deadline can vary for other specific types of claims, so always check with an attorney regarding the deadline in your case).
  • Complete and mail the correct form, including your personal information, employer information, your allegations, the remedies you are seeking, and witnesses who can attest to your allegations.
  • File your claim by mail or in person at the office of the DLSE that handles discrimination claims in your area.

Wage Claims

These requirements apply to filing a wage-related complaint:

  • You must be an employee or former employee who has suffered one of the following:
    • Unpaid wages;
    • Unauthorized deductions from your pay;
    • Failure to reimburse you for business expenses;
    • Inadequate meal or rest break periods;
    • A paycheck that bounced;
    • Not receiving your final paycheck; or
    • Not being allowed to inspect your pay records.
  • You must file your claim within three years of the alleged violation (or within one year for certain types of violations).
  • You must accurately complete and mail the correct wage claim form, including detailed information regarding your hours worked, wages received, and unpaid wages. You must also complete any additional necessary forms if your claim involves irregular hours, commission, or vacation wages.
  • You must submit a copy of your time records, pay statements and checks, dishonored checks, notice of employment information, and collective bargaining agreements, if applicable.
  • You must file your claim by mail or in person at the office of the DLSE that handles wage claims in your area.

If you make errors on your paperwork or do not send in the correct supporting documents, your claim may be significantly delayed or even denied. You should never risk a denial by incorrectly following procedures for filing a complaint.

Contact an Experienced Employment Law Attorney for Help Today

Filing a complaint or claim with the Labor Commissioner in California can be complicated. In order to make sure you do not make a mistake and reduce your chances of recovery, you should always seek out the assistance of an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible. At the Pershing Square Law Firm, we have successfully assisted numerous employees receive the compensation they deserve, so please do not hesitate to call today at (213) 377-5796 to discuss your case.