How to File an FLSA Complaint

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees in the United States are guaranteed to receive pay that is no lower than the nation's current minimum hourly wage. The FLSA also states that employees are guaranteed overtime pay if they have worked more than 40 hours in a work week. If you are an employee who does not receive overtime pay or the minimum hourly wage, you can file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) with the United States Department of Labor (DOL). In some cases, you may even be entitled to receive back wages for the pay you have not received under the FLSA. An FLSA complaint can be mailed to or filed in person at your local WHD office.


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    File the complaint immediately after the violation occurs. Your complaint may not be addressed if you file the complaint more than 18 months after the violation has occurred.
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    Write a detailed FLSA complaint. The WHD will need to see details about the violation in its entirety in order to properly address the complaint. The complaint can be written on blank sheets of notebook paper.
    • Write down your name, address, contact telephone numbers, and the times you can be reached by the WHD.
    • Provide your job title, a description of your job duties, and the details behind your wage payments; such as the frequency, pay rate, and method of which you are distributed payment. For example, if you earn 8 dollars (5.79 euros) an hour and are paid bi-weekly, indicate these details.
    • Document the amount of hours you work every work week.
    • Write a detailed description of your complaint, or violation. Provide factual details of the incident and include dates on which the violation occurred and names of people involved, including witnesses, if applicable.
    • Provide the name of and contact information for the employer you are filing the complaint against. You must also indicate the type of business you work for. For example, if you are a server at a restaurant, indicate that the type of business is a restaurant.
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    Determine the WHD office location at which to file the complaint. You can learn of WHD office locations by telephone or by visiting the WHD website.
    • Go to the DOL website featured in the Sources section of this article, then click on the link for "WHD District Office" below the section entitled, "Where can a complaint be filed."
    • Click on your state from the map, or select your state from the "Select a State" drop-down menu. You will then be redirected to the address for the WHD location in your region.
    • If you do not have Internet access, call the WHD headquarters at 866-487-9243 to obtain the address of the nearest WHD office.
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    File your complaint with the WHD. You can either file the complaint in person or mail it to the WHD office.
    • Place the FLSA complaint you have written into a large envelope, then address and mail the envelope to your nearest WHD office.
    • If you are filing the complaint in person, bring your written complaint to the WHD office for review.
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    Receive feedback from the WHD. After your complaint has been reviewed, you may be contacted by a representative from the WHD for additional information or for your permission to allow the WHD to use your name in a formal investigation with the employer. During the investigation, the WHD will work with the employer to secure your lost wages for you.


  • If you have questions or concerns about the FLSA complaint process, you can call the WHD helpline at 1-866-487-9243 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. in your local time zone.

Things You'll Need

  • Blank sheets of notebook paper
  • Large envelope

Article Info

Categories: Official Writing and Complaints