How To File A Complaint With The California Labor Board

Updated: Sep 10

Learn how to report your employer for violating labor laws in California.

Employers in California have a direct influence on their employees. Worse, some might commit illegal acts to suppress a whistleblower, reduce business expenses, or try to drive out certain employees.


Fortunately, employees in California are protected by both state and federal laws from all sorts of injustices and abuse. So you only need to know the specific channels and processes to file reports against illegal labor actions you've been put through.

So, how do you report your boss to the Department of Labor? Let's look at how our prescreened California Employment Lawyers typically advise their clients.


When Should You Report Your California Employer To The Department of Labor?

The Department of Labor aims to improve working conditions and ensure workers' welfare, rights, and benefits. This is why discrimination of protected attributes, violation of wage and hour laws, hazardous working conditions, and other factors that might affect you, your employment, and your well-being are considered illegal.


That said, you can't just directly report to the Department of Labor as you please. For starters, you need to decide which division of the Los Angeles labor board will handle your employer's violations of California department of labor laws.


For example, the Wage and Hour Division deals with a wide range of California labor law issues, such as family and medical leave, compensation, problems with wage inequality, agricultural workers, and employees working under contracts with state or local governments.

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Likewise, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is responsible for handling different issues, such as working conditions and employee safety. The best employment lawyer in Los Angeles will know how to file a labor complaint there.


The Department of Labor is divided into numerous divisions, each focusing on a different subject. Therefore, your specifics and situation will dictate who you should contact and how to format your report.


Common Employer Violations in California

How Do I Contact The Labor Board In California?

First, you must identify which division of the labor board you'll want to file reports with. From there, you can find the California labor board office near you. If you don't know where those offices are, you can call or send them an email, and they will direct you to one.

So, after you've chosen the proper division of the Division of Labor in California you want to report to, you'll have to work on organizing your report to deliver the most critical information about your case.


Your report to the Department Of Labor in California should include the following:

  • Your name

  • Contact details (address, phone number, etc.)

  • The company name

  • Company address

  • The company's contact information

  • Name of the manager, owner, etc.

  • The nature of your work

  • List of instances your employer has committed illegal action against you (i.e., missed pay, wrong employment classification, wrongful termination, harmful working environment, etc.)

Of course, you must have a compilation of proof to show that your employer violated California labor law. If you don't know which division of the California labor department you should be reporting to, call them or consult with a California Employment Law Attorney to help you.

Tips Before Reporting To The Department Of Labor In California

Although the procedure for submitting a complaint will differ depending on the law and agency that apply to your circumstance, the following are important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Think about whether this is typically a problem that the corporate will solve internally. But unfortunately, employers are powerless to address issues they are unaware of, and some problems are unwittingly brought about.

  • Keep thorough records of the situation, the grievances you file, and how HR and your counterparts respond to those reports.

  • Learn which agency departments and laws apply to your situation. For example, the Department of Labor has various agencies dealing with various complaints, as was already indicated.

  • Before contacting the Department of Labor, check with the appropriate agency or division to see if you wish to send your report to a state agency.

  • Submit your complaint within the time frame specified by the agency or division. You will forfeit the chance to address your report through the Department of Labor if you don't submit it by the deadline.

That said, you have several options to file claims. Your California employment lawyer will know how to file wrongful termination, how to file a wage claim in California, and so on.


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Where Else Can You File California Labor Law Claims?

There is a streamlined procedure for filing complaints of discrimination or retaliation with the Department of Industrial Relations. Only a complaint form accessible at the Department of Industrial Relations needs to be printed out and mailed. The employee will be required to include their employer's information, contact details for any potential witnesses, a detailed explanation of the basis for the complaint, and the desired conclusion on the form.

Within six months of the claimed violation(s), also known as "adverse action(s)," complaints must be submitted with the DLSE of the Department of Industrial Relations. Unlawful dismissal, relegation, suspension, wage cuts, reduced hours worked, and illegal refusals to hire or promote are only a few examples of adverse actions.

A 180-day time limit from the date of the claimed incident applies to complaints made to the EEOC. However, if the employee concurrently files a complaint with the DFEH, the California Fair Employment and Housing statute extends this deadline to 300 days. In addition, if the complaining party learns that a state agency has finished processing a charge, the time frame may be shortened to as few as 30 days.


Additionally, within 45 days of the alleged discriminatory action, the employee may be asked to speak with an Equal Employment Opportunity counselor. The employee won't want to be in a position where they have to dispute those grounds since they might be viewed as too late for their complaint to be accepted. However, there may be exceptions allowing for an extension of this period.

Find Prescreened California Employment Attorneys Near You

Have you been experiencing discrimination at work? Is your workplace not safe? Are you not getting paid fairly?

Get a referral to top employment lawyers in California! 1000Attorneys.com can link you with a trusted, experienced, and discipline-free attorney in California. Fill out our submission form or contact our 24/7 live chat here.