Workplace problems can cause stress and worry. Although you should attempt to resolve issues directly with employers, there are moments when workers and their managers reach impasses. When situations are unfair, illegal or unethical, employees have legal recourse that includes help from their state's department of labor. Illinois makes it easy for workers to apply for state help in resolving unfair labor practices.
Visit the Illinois Department of Labor website. The state makes a full range of complaint forms available online including those for wage and hour disputes, unsafe workplaces, workplace discrimination and privacy rights. Under each type of complaint, the department lists special information hotlines where specialists can answer your questions about labor law and if your situation merits an official complaint.
Download the forms, view and print. Your computer must have Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 or higher to view the PDF files. You cannot fill the forms in electronically and must produce and complete hard copies.
Detail the specifics and facts of your case in the forms. Avoid personal commentary, opinions, hearsay and conjecture. The Department of Labor needs accurate information and as much evidence as possible to investigate your complaint. In cases of payroll and wage disputes, include copies of pay stubs and time sheets whenever possible.
Mail your completed forms to the Illinois Department of Labor as listed on the form. To confirm receipt of your complaint, use registered or certified mail with tracking.
Call the department to follow-up on your complaint if you haven't received a letter or call from the department after two weeks time. Have tracking information ready in case you need to inform the representative of the date and time of receipt of your complaint. This may help them locate any misplaced paperwork.
Work with representatives who contact you. Furnish any additional information or evidence as requested. Treat representatives as if they're on your team and be respectful.
Eric Feigenbaum started his career in print journalism, becoming editor-in-chief of "The Daily" of the University of Washington during college and afterward working at two major newspapers. He later did many print and Web projects including re-brandings for major companies and catalog production.