If you as an employee feel dissatisfied with your work conditions or your employer’s certain actions or behavior, you have the right to complain. Such complaints against employers usually regard, for example: wage, working hours, discrimination, work conditions, harassment, termination, promotion or some other circumstances in which workers are treated unfair. You can file a complaint so as to demand either a reward or a change of your employer’s behavior. An employment complaint is just an employee’s complaint which is filed against employer, supervisor, or company.
Filing a complaint step by step
A complaint statement should be filed with your company’s internal human resources (HR) department (if it is possible). Although it is not always possible and often turns out to be insufficient, it sometimes helps find a temporary solution.
The employee files the complaint with a government agency. Various agencies deal with specific employment-related problems, so for example if your complaint concerns discrimination or hiring, you should choose the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If it is about safety at work, you choose the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The government agency investigates the complaint. If they decide that the employer really is guilty of what you have accused him, they may order him to give a gratuity for the damages or to change work policy.
What if you are not satisfied, since the agency did not order any reward for you? You may go to the civil court. Your second option is to file a private lawsuit. However, please note that this step can be only made after unsuccessful filing with the agency.
Other things you should know
First of all, if you are not familiar with the topic enough, filing a complaint against your employer can turn out quite complicated. It generally demands some amount of your time, energy, determination and knowledge. So as to avoid unnecessary stress and mistakes, you can hire an employment lawyer who will help you go through the whole process more smoothly. He can be your representative during hearings.
What is more, any documents and written statements included in the complaint that you file, will be much more “powerful” evidence than only oral statements. What can be relevant? For example: transcripts, wage stubs, hiring or firing forms and any other things which would prove your point. Also if you have a witness and you would like to present his/her statement, you should attach this in the written form.