How to File a Complaint With the California Board of Labor

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To file a complaint with the California Board of Labor, you must direct your concerns to the Division of Labor Standard Enforcement’s Bureau of Field Enforcement. Any current or former employee has the right to file a complaint regarding employer violations, in relation to any part of the labor law as established in California by the Industrial Welfare Commission. This includes child labor laws, failure of an employer to abide by workers' compensation laws or provide appropriate wage statements, the use of unlicensed contractors or violation of laws related to mothers expressing milk for an infant, among others.

File your complaint in a timely manner. If the complaint concerns an oral agreement, you have two years in which to file a complaint from when the problem first arose. If the complaint stems from a written agreement, you have four years from when the situation surrounding the complaint originated. If your complaint concerns a law or regulation in place, you have three years from the misapplication of the law to file a complaint.

Read More: How to Amend a Civil Complaint

Download and print out the Initial Report or Claim form from the BOFE website.

Fill out the Initial Report or Claim form in its entirety and be sure you provide all information as requested on the form to avoid delays in processing. Make sure to review for accuracy.

Sign and date the form.

Procure and make copies of any documents that might support your complaint, such as wage statements, tax statements or other pertinent documents. Attach these documents to your claim form. Do not send the originals, as they might get lost.

Send the complaint form and all supporting documents to the BOFE enforcement office by mail. You will need to send the package to the offices that handles the claims for your city or location where you performed the work that led to the complaint. The complaint cannot be filed electronically or sent by fax.


  • A BOFE complaint usually elicits a filing against an employer for issues that apply to all employees as a group, rather than disputes stemming from specific agreements between one person and the employer. If you file this type of complaint, BOFE may return it to you, indicating they do not handle such matters.


  • If any additional information is need by the investigator, they will contact your once your complaint is filed, so be sure to provide update contact information when filing your complaint.



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Kenneth W. Michael Wills is a writer on culture, society and business. With more than 15 years of experience in sales, public relations and written communications, Wills' passion is delighting audiences with invigorating perspectives and refreshing ideas. He has ghostwritten articles on a diverse range of topics for corporate websites and composed proposals for organizations seeking growth opportunities.

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