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How to file a public works complaint

What is a public works complaint?

A complaint that prevailing wages were not paid on a public works project. An employee, former employee, or anyone wishing to report a violation of the State's public works laws can file a complaint.

What is a public works project?

rquot;Public works“ is defined in Labor Code Sections 1720 - 1720.3, and generally means "construction, alteration, demolition, or repair work done under contract and paid for in whole or in part out of public funds . . ..”

What are the policies and procedures for processing a public works complaint?

Once you have submitted your completed (signed and dated) complaint form, the matter will be assigned for investigation. An investigator will contact you should additional information be required. A public works complaint usually requires that an investigator obtain information from the awarding body and review the employer's payroll and other relevant records. If a violation of the laws respecting payment of the prevailing wage is found, the investigator will issue a citation to the awarding body to withhold funds. The contractor has a right to appeal the withholding to an administrative law judge.

How do I file a public works complaint?

  • Download, complete and print the Public Works - Initial Report, DLSE-PW Form 1(Rev. 9/2012) (** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE **English, Spanish.) (** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE **Adobe Acrobat required.)
    Please be sure to provide all information on the complaint form to avoid delay in the complaint process.

  • Instructions for Completing the “Public Works - Initial Report” form (PW-1) acrobat small logo

  • Please be sure to sign and date your complaint form.

  • Copies of any documents you have to support your complaint should be attached to the complaint form. Please DO NOT send originals as they may be lost, damaged, or misplaced.

Where do I file my public works complaint?

If the work was performed in the following counties: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara or Ventura, your complaint should be filed in the Los Angeles office located at:

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

If the work was performed in any county not located in the counties listed above, your complaint should be filed in the Sacramento office located at:

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

The Public Works complaint form CANNOT be filed electronically. If your internet browser supports email of pages, DO NOT use this feature to submit your claim form as an original signature is required. You MUST print and either mail or hand-deliver your completed and signed complaint to the DLSE office that handles public works complaints for the city/location where you performed the work.

** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE ** If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer, you should download the free Acrobat Reader from Adobe's web site at, download instructions are available on the Adobe web site. Once you have downloaded the Acrobat Reader you can view PDF documents in your web browser if it supports plug-ins, or if it does not support plug-ins, you can save the file(s) to your hard drive and view them by opening them in Acrobat Reader. Known Printing Problems.