Please review these instructions carefully before starting to complete the complaint form. It is designed to help you organize facts and define your concerns so the Workforce Board can assist you in resolving your grievance against a private career school. Please note the following limitations that govern complaint handling by our agency under current State regulations.
Please note: The Workforce Board cannot mediate a complaint filed by anyone other than a current or former student of a private vocational school that is subject to RCW 28C.10.
Once you withdraw, are terminated, or graduate from the school you have one year from your last date of attendance to file a complaint.
If you are a distance education student, you must file your complaint within one year of the date the school received your last completed lesson.
- NOTE: Any complaints against a closed school must be filed within 60 days of the closure.
Prior to filing a complaint, you should make a good faith effort to obtain satisfaction by communicating directly with school officials, employing the school's internal grievance or complaint process. These efforts should not be limited to discussions with instructors or sales representatives; bring your problem to the attention of the school director, president, or chief administrator. [NOTE: Page 3 of the complaint form asks you to detail those contacts.]
- Within 10 days of receiving your complaint, Workforce Board staff will review it and notify you whether the Board has jurisdiction over your issue(s). If the Board does not have jurisdiction, we may refer your complaint to another State or federal agency or organization. The Board may refer you to small claims court or suggest you consider alternative options, such as civil court. The Workforce Board cannot provide legal advice.
- If the Workforce Board accepts your complaint, we will forward the complaint to the school for response. The school has 15 working days to either: (a) resolve the complaint directly with you; or, (b) send the agency a written response.
- Upon receipt of the school's response, we will conduct an investigation and attempt to reach a negotiated agreement between you and the school. If mediation resolves the problem, we will confirm the agreed-upon solution in writing and close the matter. If mediation fails to resolve the problem, we will issue a determination which will be sent to you and the school.
- If a school is ordered by the agency to make a refund, pay restitution, and/or make other settlement arrangements such as additional class time, further placement assistance, etc., the school must document to the Workforce Board that it has complied with the order. The Workforce Board may also take separate disciplinary action against the school.
- Please be advised that your name, address and phone numbers might be disclosed in the event of a public records request. However, such information is prohibited from being used for commercial purposes.
The total average time needed to process complaints is 90 days; however, complex cases may take longer.
Remember To Keep All Original Documents For Your Personal Records. Send Only Copies With Your Complaint Form.
Note: Information you provide on the complaint form becomes public record that may be subject to inspection and copying by members of the public unless an exemption in law exists. Contact the Workforce Board at 360.709-4600 for more information.