The Department of Labor asks that employees filing complaints use their names. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration and Equal Opportunity Employment Commission do allow anonymous complaints, although employees are encouraged to give names. All offices maintain confidentiality unless a specific case requires revealing a name, which the agencies only do with employee permission.
Names are a required form field in online complaint filing. Those wishing to complain anonymously should print the form and mail it, or report the complaint via phone. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration asks that people filing emergency complaints use the phone to assure that it receives the complaint quickly. The Department of Labor, Occupational Health and Safety Administration and Equal Opportunity Employment Commission accept emailed complaints, but email is traceable. These offices do accept third party complaints, although those also should include the employee name and identifying information.
The reason employees are encouraged to provide identifying information is that it can be difficult to verify claims without the information. Confidentiality helps guard the employee against retaliation, and giving a name to the government agency allows it to maintain records to prove any retaliation. Confidentiality ensures that the Department of Labor will not report the name to the employer and will only use the names internally to pursue the investigation.
If legal claims arise from the investigation, the employee may need to give a name, but only if the employee wishes to pursue the case. Claims that affect the entire workplace, such as Occupational Health and Safety Administration safety complaints, are easier to investigate anonymously.