How To File A Wage Claim
All claims are filed via the Labor Commissioner’s Office (also called the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE))
The DLSE is part of the California Department of Industrial Relations.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office is the state agency that decides your claim for unpaid wages.
Fill out the Initial Report or Claim Form (DLSE Form 1).
Note: Incorrect claim forms are typically rejected and need to be corrected before they can be re-filed. The re-filing process can take weeks or months.
If you need help, refer to the Guide to Completing Initial Report or Claim Form or call Reyes & Associates right away.
Step 1B (if applicable)
Along with your completed Initial Report or Claim Form (DLSE Form 1), fill out and submit the additional DLSE Forms (IF any of the situations below apply to you):
Along with your completed Initial Report or Claim Form (DLSE Form 1), submit one copy of the following documents, if you have them (Do Not Send Original Copies):
NOTE: The documents below are being requested only if you have them because they may help the Labor Commissioner’s Office (also called the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE)) better understand your claim.
Time Records: Any record that may support your claim such as your notes, journals, diaries, or calendars in which you marked your hours and dates worked.
Paychecks and Pay Stubs: Any paycheck and/or pay stub showing the wages you were paid during your claim period.
Dishonored (or “Bounced”) Paycheck(s): Any dishonored check(s) that could not be cashed because of insufficient funds. Include any other bank documentation that indicates the check could not be cashed.
Notice to Employee: Submit one copy of your Notice to Employee indicating your employment and wage information.
Collective Bargaining Agreement: If your employment was covered by a union contract, provide a copy of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
NOTE: You are not required to keep your own time records or to have the documents above in order to file a claim.
It is the employer’s legal responsibility to keep accurate employee time and payroll records, and to provide employees with pay stubs each time they are paid (or at least semimonthly).
File your complaint with the correct Labor Commissioner's Office. There are 18 regional Labor Commissioner's Offices located throughout California.
File your claim either by mail or in person with the Labor Commissioner's Office that handles wage claims for the city/location/community where you performed the work.
NOTE: Your claim form requires an original signature and your claim form cannot be filed electronically or by fax. You must mail or hand-deliver a copy of your claim form to the DLSE office that handles wage claims for the city/location/community where you performed the work.