Dept. of Industrial Relations logo

How to File a Public Works Complaint

If you are not a worker on the public works project, you should complete the public complaint form. Complaints can be filed for both prevailing wage and apprenticeship issues. Any member of the public can file a public works complaint. The Labor Commissioner receives complaints from unions, labor management cooperation committees, public agencies, competitors, and other interested parties.

If you are a worker on a public works project, you should complete the worker complaint form. The worker complaint form is also available in Spanish.

Be sure to follow the instructions for completing the form. Sign and date the completed form; an original signature is required. Attach copies of any documents that support your complaint.

Where to file a complaint form

All complaints and copies of supporting documents should be mailed to the appropriate Labor Commissioner’s Office listed below.

If the work was performed in Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, or Ventura County, please send the form to this address:

     DLSE – BOFE Public Works
     Attn:  Complaints Unit
     300 Oceangate, Suite 850
     Long Beach, CA 90802

If the work was performed in any county not listed above, please send the form to this address:

     DLSE – BOFE Public Works
     Attn:  Complaints Unit
     2031 Howe Avenue, Suite 100
     Sacramento, CA 95825

What happens after a complaint has been filed

Once you have submitted your completed complaint form, your case will be assigned for investigation.  An investigator may contact you should additional information be required.  A public works complaint requires an investigator to obtain information from the public agency that awarded the project, review the employer's payroll, obtain additional records and interview witnesses. If a violation of prevailing wage law is found, the investigator will conduct an audit and issue a citation against the affected subcontractor.  A notice will be sent to the public entity instructing them to withhold any payments that the public agency controls until the matter is resolved at an administrative hearing or 60 days after the issuance of citation if no appeal is requested by the affected contractors.  All contractors have a right to appeal the citation and the case may go before an administrative hearing officer appointed by the Director of the Department of Industrial Relations. 

Additional information for workers on the Public Works complaint investigation process is available in the following languages:

October 2015