Dispute Resolution

Mediation services

Mediation is a confidential process facilitated by a neutral third party to help parties in dispute resolve conflict.  DFEH voluntary mediation is a free, cost-effective opportunity for parties to quickly resolve a DFEH complaint on their own terms, without going through the investigative process.

The Department employs a staff of experienced neutrals, whose exclusive role at the DFEH is to mediate complaints. The Department also provides mandatory dispute resolution services for investigated cases the DFEH intends to prosecute.

For more information or to request to mediate a DFEH complaint, please contact the Dispute Resolution Division at Dispute Resolution Online Requests DRDOnlinerequests@dfeh.ca.gov

Community conflict services

The Department is empowered to act as a “peacemaker” when communities experience conflict or tension relating to discriminatory practices based on the characteristics in the box “Who is protected?”

The DFEH mediation services can be made available upon the request of a state or local public body, or upon the request of any person directly affected by a civil rights dispute, disagreement, or difficulty that threatens “peaceful relations” in a community.

Additional information is available from the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service.

To request DFEH community conflict services, please contact the Dispute Resolution Division at Dispute Resolution Online Requests DRDOnlinerequests@dfeh.ca.gov.

Who is protected?

Under California law,  DFEH may act as a “peacemaker” to resolve community conflicts or tensions related to discrimination based on these characteristics:

  • Race, color
  • Ancestry, national origin
  • Religion, creed
  • Age – 40+ years
  • Disability, mental and physical
  • Sex, sexual orientation
  • Gender identity, expression
  • Medical condition
  • Genetic information
  • Marital, familial status

Answers to FAQs

We provide the answers to frequently asked questions about how DFEH mediates complaints or conflicts.