Obtain a Right to Sue
You may file your own lawsuit for employment discrimination in court rather than using the DFEH investigation process. This is advisable only if you have an attorney. Also note that if you receive a right-to-sue notice, your complaint will not be investigated by DFEH even if you later decide not to file a lawsuit.
Before you begin
Before you begin, you should have the following information available:
- Contact information and mailing address for the respondent, i.e. the person or employer that you are filing against.
- Contact information and mailing address for any additional respondents, i.e. any additional person(s) that you wish to file against.
- Contact information and mailing address for the “Agent for Service.” This is the person that should be notified that you filed a complaint and obtained a Right to Sue notice. If you do not know the name of the person who should receive a copy of the complaint, you may provide the contact information and mailing address for the human resources manager. If you do not know the name of the human resources manager, please provide contact information for the owner or president of the company.
Employment Discrimination Lawsuits
To proceed in court you are first required to file a complaint to secure a right-to-sue notice. You may file an online complaint or submit a printed complaint to the Department for processing. Here are the steps for each option:
To fill out the form online you need to create a free account in our interactive service, called Cal Civil Rights System, CCRS. When you begin the process for the first time, you will see a dialog box with directions on how to create a new account. Then you will simply click on the “Right to Sue” button and answer the questions presented to you.
Download and print the right-to-sue form. Fill it out and return to DFEH using either email or the post office. Mail to our headquarters address.
- Department of Fair Employment & Housing
Right to Sue
2218 Kausen Drive, Suite 100
Elk Grove, CA 95758
Important to Consider
Be aware that in filing your own lawsuit for employment discrimination, you:
- Elect to not exercise your option of having DFEH investigate your complaint.
- Understand that you should have an attorney to file a lawsuit
- Understand that you have one year from the date of your Right to Sue notice to file a lawsuit.
- Understand that DFEH will not file your complaint with EEOC, and that if you wish to obtain a federal Right to Sue notice, you must visit EEOC’s Website, or call them at (800) 669-4000 or TTY (800) 669-6820.
DFEH provides assistance to anyone who needs help accessing and understanding our information. Please contact us to arrange an accommodation if you have a disability or need translation into your native language.
For an accommodation:
- Call 800-884-1684 (voice), 800-700-2320 (TTY) or California’s Relay Service at 711
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org for disability accommodations
For translation help: