Labor Commissioner's Office- Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE)

The Labor Commissioner's Office is also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement ("DLSE") and is a branch of the Department of Industrial Relations ("DIR"). Sometimes the Labor Commissioner's office is referred to as the "Labor Board." The Labor Commissioner's Office handles employee complaints relating to wages including, but not limited to: 

  • Minimum Wages 

  • Overtime Wages

  • Commissions 

  • Piece-Rate Pay

  • Meal & Rest Break Premiums 

  • Business Expense Reimbursement (including mileage) 

  • Vacation Pay 

  • Retaliation for Wage Complaints 

  • Equal Pay Act Violations

  • Improper Wage Statements

  • Civil Penalties 

An employer may make an appearance at the Labor Commissioner's office at two main stages:

Claim & Conference

The deputy assigned to the case brings the parties in to discuss settlement. If settlement is not reached, the deputy will finalize the employee's complaint and set the case for a hearing. 


A hearing is a trial before a hearing officer. The parties present their cases using witnesses and documents. The hearing is usually set from 6 to 12 months after the Claim & Conference. After the hearing is conducted the Labor Commissioner's Office will issue a determination/ruling that becomes a court enforceable judgment. 

Be aware some laws award attorneys' fees to prevailing employees but not to prevailing employers. Consult with an attorney to understand the risks and stringent requirements employers are held to in employment and labor cases in California. I provide a free 15 minute consultation to assist you in figuring out your next defense steps.