What is the California DFEH?

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What is the California DFEH?

California DFEH stands for “California Department of Fair Employment and Housing”.  It is a state-operated agency that processes claims involving various legal claims related to work and housing.  The agency provides legal investigations into alleged cases of violations by employers or housing management.  They also provide other services such as access to public record searches and updates on California statutes.  

Most employment law complaints usually begin with an investigation by a body such as the DFEH.  That is, some laws actually require the plaintiff to file with an investigative agency first before they can file a private lawsuit.  The DFEH may assist the victim in obtaining legal relief for their particular claim.

What Types of Legal Issues Does the DFEH Address?

Broadly speaking, the DFEH covers employment-related issues as well as housing issues.  Most of these legal issues involve some aspect of discrimination (such as age or race-based discrimination). 

Specifically, some legal complaints that the DFEH processes include:

Additionally, the California DFEH may be able to hear other complaints related to employment or housing.

Should I File With the DFEH or the EEOC?

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is a state-operated agency.  A similar federal agency is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  Both agencies handle similar claims and operate in similar ways. 

Like other state agencies, the DFEH may provide more regulation and enforcement than federal agencies.  This is because states laws are allowed to provide more constitutionally-based protection than federal laws, but not less.  Depending on the issue involved, the California DFEH may provide a more suitable choice of filing.  On the other hand, more widespread class-action type violations may be more fitted for filing with the EEOC.  These types of determinations generally require the assistance of a lawyer.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Filing a California DFEH Claim?

The California DFEH can provide legal assistance for persons with an employment or a housing violation claim.  However, these filings can often be complex, and generally require the assistance of a lawyer.  You may wish to hire a qualified lawyer in your area if you need help with any types of employment or housing claims.  Your attorney can assist you with filing and can represent you if you need to attend any official hearings or meetings. 

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Last Modified: 03-22-2013 10:52 AM PDT

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