Before filing a complaint with the New York State Department of Labor, make sure the situation is an accepted cause of action and that you understand the relevant laws. The Department of Labor does not accept anonymous complaints; you must identify yourself in order to lodge a complaint. However, it is against the law for an employer to retaliate against an employee for filing a legitimate complaint.

Step 1.

Review the applicable causes of action for bringing a complaint with the New York State Department of Labor by visiting the FAQ section of the department’s website. Common causes of action include health and safety complaints, minimum wage complaints and overtime complaints.

Step 2.

Build your case by compiling proof of your complaint, such as miscalculated pay stubs, employer communications or corroborating evidence from co-workers.

Step 3.

Locate the correct complaint form in the Resources section of the Department of Labor’s website. There is a general PW4 employee complaint form as well as specific forms for unpaid wages and other causes of action.

Step 4.

Complete the complaint form by providing all of the requested information about your employer and about your job. You may need to ask co-workers to help you determine the information necessary for some of the questions.

Step 5.

Attach any exhibits to your complaint, including a copy of your pay stub, work journal or other evidence. Submit the completed form and supporting evidence to the nearest district office, which can be located on the last page of the complaint form.


Non-employees may also file complaints with the New York State Department of Labor.


Depending on the nature and severity of your problem, you may want to contact an attorney before filing a complaint with the New York State Department of Labor.