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Filing a Complaint About Your Employer

School & Work

This article provides information on filing a complaint about your employer.

Here, learn about filing a complaint about your employer. You can file a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) if you believe you have experienced the following: 

  • Unlawful employment discrimination; 

  • Retaliation; or 

  • Wage and hour violations, such as failing to pay you minimum wage or overtime. 

You can also file a complaint with a federal government agency. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) handles discrimination and retaliation complaints. The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) handles claims about minimum wage and overtime pay. 

How do I file a complaint with the state government about unpaid wages?

The Texas Payday Law (TPL) requires most employers in the state to pay their employees on a regular basis. The law does not cover independent contractors, nor public employees like the federal or state government. 

The TPL applies to all money that an employee has earned, including: 

  • Wages or salary, including overtime; 

  • Commissions and bonuses; and 

  • Benefits that the employer typically provides to employees. 

The minimum wage in Texas is the same as the rate set at the federal level. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that currently sets the minimum wage at $7.25 per hour. 

You can file a wage claim with the TWC online or by mail. To file online, you must create a user ID for the TWC’s website. The online system offers assistance in completing the form and providing all of the required information. It also gives you immediate confirmation that the TWC has received your claim. If you file by mail, you will have to wait for some time for confirmation. 

To file by mail, you will need a Texas Payday Law Wage Claim paper form (WH-1). You have several options for getting a form: 

  • See if the form is available on the TWC’s website

  • Get a form from a Workforce Solutions office in your area. 

  • Call the TWC at 800-832-9243 to request a form. 

  • Mail a request for a form to the following address: 

Texas Workforce Commission 

Wage and Hour Department 

101 E 15th St, Rm 514 

Austin, TX 78778-0001 

You can submit the paper form to the above address, or you can fax it to 512-475-3025. 

How do I file a complaint with the federal government about unpaid wages?

The FLSA does not apply to as many people as the TPL. Some employees are exempt from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime provisions. You can find more information on who is exempt on the DOL’s website. 

Federal law requires employers to pay non-exempt workers a minimum wage of at least $7.25 per hour. If a non-exempt worker works more than 40 hours in a week, the employer must pay them time-and-a-half for the overtime hours

You can file a complaint with the WHD online or by calling 866-487-9243. Either of these methods will put you in contact with someone at the WHD. They will help you get the claim process started. 

How do I file a complaint about workplace discrimination?

State and federal laws protect employees from discrimination based on numerous factors like race, sex, and religion. For more information, see our page on Discrimination at Work

Filing a Workplace Discrimination Complaint with the State Government 

You can submit a discrimination complaint to the TWC’s Civil Rights Division. The agency provides an online form that you can use to get the process started. You can also submit a complaint by mail. 

The TWC does not have a pre-printed paper form for employment discrimination complaints. You must provide the following information: 

  • Your full name, phone number, and home address 

  • Your employer’s name, phone number, and address where you worked 

  • The name and phone number of the person in charge of human resources 

  • Whether your employer has at least 15 employees 

  • The basis for the discrimination you experienced, such as race, sex, or disability 

  • A description of the harm you suffered, such as termination, demotion, or refusal to hire 

You can send the complaint to: 

Texas Workforce Commission 
Civil Rights Division 
101 E 15th St., Guadalupe CRD 
Austin, TX 78778-0001 

Filing a Workplace Discrimination Complaint with the Federal Government 

The EEOC enforces multiple federal laws that deal with discrimination. These include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

To file a complaint, or “charge,” of discrimination with the EEOC, you must first submit an inquiry. You can do this online at the EEOC’s website. You can schedule an intake interview with an EEOC employee when you submit the injury. You can submit the charge once you complete the interview. 

Do I have to pay to file a complaint? 

No. The TWC, WHD, and EEOC are all government agencies. They do not charge employees for their services. 

How long do I have to file a complaint? 

For any complaint to the TWC, WHD, or EEOC, you must start the claim process within 180 days of the date of the alleged violation. You also have a two-year time limit for filing a lawsuit in most cases. You should start the claim process as soon as possible to ensure that you have enough time to assert your rights. 

Will my complaint be confidential? I don’t want to lose my job. 

Any conversations that you have with an employee of the TWC, WHD, or EEOC are confidential. After that, the confidentiality depends on where you file a complaint: 

  • If you file a complaint with the TWC, your employer will receive a notice that identifies you as the complainant. 

  • If you file a charge with the EEOC, your employer will also receive a notice that includes your name. 

  • The WHD will not reveal your name to your employer, even after you file a charge. 

State and federal law prohibit employers from firing you or taking any other negative actions for filing a complaint. 

What if I don’t have all of the information needed for a complaint? 

You should provide as much information as you can in your complaint. You might not have all of the required information, though. Here are some suggestions for what to do if you are missing some information: 

  • If you do not have a permanent address, provide a cell phone number or the address of someone who will know how to reach you. 

  • If you do not know your employer’s name or address, take pictures of company vehicles at your job, including their license plates. 

  • Start keeping a record of the hours you work, how much your employer pays you, and how often you get paid. 

  • For discrimination claims, keep a record of what has happened, including the dates and times, locations, and names of people involved. 

Will filing a complaint lead to workers being reported to ICE?

Probably not, but it is not impossible. The TWC, WHD, and EEOC do not deal with immigration laws. Checking employees’ immigration status is not part of their job. That job belongs to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Employers must follow laws dealing with wages and discrimination regardless of the immigration status of their employees. 

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