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3 min read

How Do I File a Legal Complaint Against My Employer?

You have legal rights in your workplace, and if those rights have been breached, you may wonder, "How do I file a complaint against my employer for violating employment laws?" We are here to help.

Employment laws cover five general categories:

  • Workers' Compensation (if you've gotten sick or hurt on the job)
  • Discrimination and Harassment
  • Labor (including wages, working hours, and classification)
  • Hiring and Termination
  • Workplace Safety

How and where you file a complaint depends on what employment law was violated - whether it was federal or state. Either way, it can be an involved process, and you should consult with an attorney specializing in labor and employment litigation from the employee side of things.

A Labor and Employment attorney can help you understand your rights, evaluate the strength of your case, and guide you through the legal procedures. They can also provide valuable insights into the best course of action and the potential outcomes.

In the meantime, here are some things you should know if you file a complaint against your employer.

Document the Violations

When preparing to file a complaint, you should gather evidence to support your claims. This includes the following:

  • Keep detailed records of incidents, including dates, times, locations, and the individuals involved.
  • Document any correspondence, emails, memos, or other forms of communication that highlight the violations.
  • Collect pay stubs, work schedules, and other relevant documents to strengthen your case.

A well-documented record will provide credibility and help investigators assess the validity of your complaint.

Internal Resolution

It can be beneficial to try resolving the issue internally before escalating the matter externally into a formal legal complaint. Consult your employee handbook or HR department to determine if a specific process or procedure is in place for addressing grievances or violations.

If so, you should take the designated action to report the violations, providing the necessary documentation and evidence. Maintain open communication throughout the process, and keep copies of all written correspondence for your records.

Please note that you can have legal representation to help you with internal resolutions and if you have to go further with filing complaints and/or lawsuits.

File a Complaint with the Relevant Authority

If internal resolution does not yield satisfactory results, it may be necessary to file a complaint with the appropriate government agency or authority responsible for enforcing employment laws. The specific agency depends on the nature of the violation.

For instance, if you experience discrimination or your employer violates a federal law, you will file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Similar agencies exist on the state level as well.

Whichever is the relevant authority in your case, you will need to follow their procedures for filing a complaint. Provide all relevant information and supporting documents, and be prepared to cooperate with any investigations.

Maintain Confidentiality and Protection

It is important to note that filing a complaint against your employer can be sensitive. You should maintain confidentiality during the process to protect yourself and avoid potential retaliation.

Document any incidents of retaliation that may result from your complaint. Retaliation is illegal in many jurisdictions and can lead to additional legal action against your employer.

Follow Through and Remain Persistent

Filing a complaint is just the beginning of the process. Stay involved and follow through with any investigations or legal proceedings that may arise. Cooperate with the authorities, provide requested information promptly, and stay in touch with your attorney.

Remember that these processes can take time, so patience and persistence are crucial to achieving a resolution.

Consider Further Legal Action if Necessary

If your complaint does not result in a satisfactory resolution, you may need to consider the possibility of further legal action. For example, consult with your attorney about the viability of a lawsuit against your employer.

Your attorney can help you understand the potential risks, benefits, and costs involved in pursuing a legal case. Remember that litigation can be a lengthy and complex process, so carefully consider the potential outcomes before proceeding.

Filing a Complaint is a Big Step, But You are Not Alone

Filing a complaint against your employer for violating employment laws is a significant step, and it is essential to be prepared and diligent. But also remember that you do not have to do it alone.

Get legal help to protect your rights and properly address the violations. By taking action, you protect your rights and contribute to fostering a fair, safe, and lawful work environment for all employees.

We invite you to get a free consultation with the Labor and Employment Law Legal Team here at Whitcomb Selinsky, PC. Call (866) 433-4116 or click here to use our convenient online form to tell us how we can help.