Common Good Iowa

3. File a wage claim with the U.S. Department of Labor

Although not required, we recommend discussing your situation with a professional before considering filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). A professional can help you confirm your employer has acted inappropriately, identify the necessary documentation, discuss the pros and cons of your response options, and submit your complaint.

Any violation of the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) can be reported to the DOL. This includes the vast majority of wage payment rights violations. Complaints of overtime violations can only be directed to the DOL, and not the Iowa Division of Labor, as Iowa does not have any state overtime laws.

Complaints filed with the DOL are confidential, and it is illegal for employers to retaliate against workers for filing complaints with the DOL. However, DOL investigations can take several months or even years to resolve. You can learn about filing a complaint with the DOL here.

Tips for success

  • Talk to a professional first. Trained resource providers will help smooth out the process. 

  • Prepare your documentation in advance. This will save you time later on.

  • Respond promptly. The DOL will be in touch with you intermittently, so be sure to check your email and make space in your voicemail. They may drop your case if you are not responsive.

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