Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits harassment and discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, mental and physical disability, medical condition, age, pregnancy, denial of medical and family care leave, or pregnancy disability leave (Government Code sections 12940,12945, 12945.2) and/or retaliation for protesting illegal discrimination related to one of these categories, or for reporting patient abuse in tax supported institutions. You may file a private lawsuit under the Fair Employment & Housing Act. For employment discrimination issues, you are required to exhaust your administrative remedies with the Department by securing your Notice of Right to Sue.

Complaints of discrimination must be filed with the Department within one year from the date of the alleged discriminatory act. For victims who are under the age of 18, complaints of discrimination must be filed no later than one year following that person’s18th birthday. Please contact us immediately if there is any likelihood that this one-year period is about to expire.

This law specifically provides protection from harassment or discrimination in employment because of:

  • Age (40 and over)
  • Ancestry
  • Color
  • Religious Creed (including religious dress and grooming practices)
  • Denial of Family and Medical Care Leave
  • Disability (mental and physical) including HIV and AIDS
  • Marital Status
  • Medical Condition (cancer and genetic characteristics)
  • Genetic Information
  • Military and Veteran Status  
  • National Origin (including language use restrictions)
  • Race
  • Sex (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding)
  • Gender, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression 
  • Sexual Orientation


Fair Employment And Housing Act

Government Code, Title 2, Division 3, Part 2.8

Chapter 1.      General Provisions  (§§ 12900-12906)

Chapter 2.     (Repealed)

Chapter 3.     Findings and Declarations of Policy  (§§ 12920-12922)

Chapter 4.     Definitions  (§§ 12925-12928)

Chapter 5.     Powers and Duties of the Department  (§§ 12930-12933); Powers and Duties of the Fair Employment and Housing Council (§ 12935)

Chapter 6.     Discrimination Prohibited: Employment  (§§  12940-12951); Housing (§§ 12955-12956.2) 

Chapter 7.     Enforcement Procedures: Employment  (§§ 12960-12976);  Housing  (§§ 12980-12989.3)

Chapter 8.     Nondiscrimination and Compliance Employment Programs  (§ 12990)

Chapter 9.     Miscellaneous  (§ 12993-12996)