You can file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office for certain violations of state labor law
California has some of the best laws in the country when it comes to protecting employees. However, if you don’t know your rights or how to enforce them, these laws don’t mean much. One option for handling violations of labor law is to file a complaint with the labor board.
In California, there isn’t a specific “labor board.” However, if an employer violates your rights, then you may be able to file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office, which is also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). According to a California employment lawyer, you may choose to file a complaint with the DLSE, or even pursue a lawsuit against your employer.
The DLSE handles complaints about violations of wage and hour, equal pay, child labor, and other laws. If you believe that your employer has violated one or more of these laws, such as by failing to pay you overtime, then you can file a complaint with the DLSE.
The process for filing a complaint is relatively straightforward. For a wage and hour violation, you will need to file DLSE Form 1, or an Initial Report. This form requires you to fill in basic information like what happened and your employer’s name and address. Depending on your specific situation, you may need to file additional forms, such as DLSE Form 55 for meal and rest period violations, or DLSE Form 155 for unpaid commissions. These documents must be filed via the mail or in person at a district DLSE office.
After the initial report or claim is filed, the Labor Commissioner’s Office will review and investigate the claim. If they determine that a violation may have occurred, then they may file a formal complaint against the employer. Within 30 days after the report is filed, the agency must send both the employee and the employer a notice informing them of what it intends to do. Possible options include taking no action, holding a hearing on the claim, or bringing a lawsuit if the employee cannot afford a California employment lawyer of their own.
Most frequently, if the DLSE decides that a violation may have occurred, it will hold a hearing. Before the hearing date, a settlement conference will usually be settled. If the claim is not settled at this conference, then it will proceed to a hearing.
Importantly, employees are not required to go through the complaint process. They can also file a lawsuit on their own, either in state or federal court. This often makes the most sense when there have been significant or repeated violations. For smaller wage claims, a labor board complaint may be the best course of action.
If you believe that your employer has violated California law, a California employment lawyer can help you decide what to do next. Contact PLBSH today at (800) 435-7542 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation with a member of our team.