California Department of Fair Employment and Housing


Area of Law: 


The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is the largest state civil rights agency in the country. It was established by the Legislature in 1959 as the Division of Fair Employment Practices and was initially part of the Department of Industrial Relations. 

In 1980, DFEH was established as an independent department charged with enforcing California's comprehensive employment, housing, public accommodations and public service non-discrimination laws, as well as the State's bias-related hate violence law. 

DFEH's statutory mandate is to protect the people of California from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations pursuant to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Government Code section 12900, et seq., the Unruh Civil Rights Act, Civil Code section 51, et seq., and the Ralph Civil Rights Act, Civil Code section 51.7. 

DFEH has jurisdiction over both private and public entities operating within the State of California, including corporate entities, private sector contracts granted by the State of California, and all State departments and local governments. 

DFEH receives and investigates discrimination complaints in its twelve district offices throughout the State. Ten offices handle employment, public accommodations and hate violence cases and two offices handle housing cases. In addition, there are three legal offices which litigate cases and provide legal support to the district offices. 

DFEH routinely provides technical assistance to employers, business establishments and housing providers regarding their responsibilities under the law. 

The Department is part of the State and Consumer Services Agency and is administered by a Director appointed by the Governor.

Contact Us

Discrimination & Hate Crimes Filing a Complaint Contact DFEH about an existing complaint Contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (federal) Other Housing and Employment Issues Landlord/Tenant Issues Back wages or other labor issues Unemployment Insurance Predatory Lending Information Regarding DFEH Comments Other Questions 


Please call, fax, or mail us your questions.



Employment/Public Accommodations:

1-800-884-1684 (Within California) 1-916-478-7200 (Outside California)


1-800-233-3212 (Within California) 1-510-622-2945 (Outside California)

Hate Violence:

1-800-884-1684 (Outside Sacramento, CA) 1-916-478-7200 (Inside Sacramento, CA)


1-800-700-2320 (Within California)


Employment/Public Accommodations: 1-916-478-7320 (FAX)

Housing: 1-510-622-2956 (FAX)