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Californian employees must know where to turn for grievance forms

California’s employers do not always have to supply workers with grievance forms. Workers deserve to know where to go when they have a complaint.

If you feel your California-based employer violated your worker rights, you may want to file a claim or grievance with a federal agency, your union or your HR department. You may feel your employer does not want you to go through with the action, blocking or acting against you rather than helping you. Learn the level of responsibility companies have to provide employees with grievance forms.

Equal employment complaint

If your grievance stems from feeling like your employer discriminated against you because of your religion, race, disability or another protected class category, you may want to file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Because companies hold no responsibility for such grievance forms, reach out to your local EEOC office and ask about filing a complaint. After filing the right form, your employer cannot take retaliatory action against you.

Health and safety complaint

Do you feel you work in an unsafe space? Rather than ask HR for a form, note your grievances online with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. A majority of companies cannot access such forms, so they have no obligation to supply employees with them. Still, employers cannot take unsavory action against workers who file OSHA complaints.

HR complaint

Maybe the proper party to file your complaint with is your company’s HR department. Supervisors and managers do not have a legal obligation to give out or collect grievance forms, but your company may have its own form of punishment for those who do not. The only time when withholding employee access to grievance forms becomes illegal is when doing so becomes harassment, employee rights interference or discrimination. Before taking further action, touch bases with HR to understand your company’s timeline and process for addressing employee complaints.

Union complaint

If you joined a union and feel you have a union-related complaint against your company, you may want to file the proper form. Not only should you check with your union to learn how to file a grievance form, but you should also check California’s union laws. More than likely, you need to go to your union representative to file a complaint, not HR.

Do you feel your employer does not honor your right to union representation? If so, the organization may break the law with discriminatory labor practices.

Your California employer may not always have to supply employees with grievance forms, but that does not mean it does not break the law in other ways. Consider speaking with a legal representative to see if you have a legal case to build.