Make a complaint

Try to resolve disputes informally. If this isn't possible, you can submit a complaint to resolve a problem at work. For example, you can request payment for wages that you are owed.

Employers aren't allowed to intimidate or discriminate against you for making a complaint. This includes refusing to hire you or threatening to fire you.

On this page:

Do B.C. employment standards apply?

Not every work issue, workplace or type of work is covered by employment standards, for example:

  • Workplace safety or injuries
  • Bullying or harassment
  • Unionized or federally-regulated workplaces
  • Excluded jobs and professions

You can find out if B.C. employment standards apply to your work situation.

You can use Solution Explorer to get guidance based on your answers to questions about your particular situation.

Filing a complaint

The process can take several months. Resolving a complaint might require an investigation. You may need to be involved at certain steps in the process.

Understand the process

There is no fee to submit a complaint. You can file a complaint for yourself or on behalf of another person or a group of employees.

Most complaints are handled in order. This means we need to start investigating previous complaints before we can get to yours. We'll contact you directly when:

  • We receive and process your complaint
  • Someone is assigned to investigate your complaint

We might also need to contact you for additional information. It's important to notify the Employment Standards Branch if you change your email, phone number or mailing address.

Know the time limit

Working for the same employer. Issues will be reviewed up to one year before the date your complaint is received. You can ask that your complaint be kept confidential to protect your working relationship with your employer.

Not working for the same employer. You must file your complaint within six months of your last day of work or the last day of your temporary layoff. Issues from the last year of your employment will be reviewed.

File your complaint

You can submit your complaint online in about 15 minutes.

Submit a complaint

Next steps

After a complaint is filed, Employment Standards contacts all parties and explains the provisions of the Act. Many complaints are resolved at this stage. Otherwise, your complaint may proceed to an investigation.

If a complaint is not resolved voluntarily, the Director of Employment Standards will issue a written decision called a determination that will include mandatory administrative penalties for every contravention of the Act. The Director will then collect outstanding wages and penalties.

If you want to appeal a decision, follow the appeal process with the Employment Standards Tribunal.

Find answers

Ask a question or get confidential support about your situation.

Contact Employment Standards

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Someone can help you in the language of your choice.

Call 1-833-236-3700

Service is available Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 5 pm Pacific Time.