Obtain a Right to Sue

Right-to-Sue – Employment Discrimination Lawsuits

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.

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:

  • Online form:

    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.

  • Printed form:
    Download a print copy of the 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

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.

And be aware that in filing your own lawsuit for employment discrimination lawsuits, 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 contact EEOC at www.eeoc.gov, or (800) 669-4000 or TTY (800) 669-6820.

Get in touch with DFEH

For general information, get in touch with us:

Accessibility information

If you need help accessing our information because you have a disability, please contact us to arrange an accommodation:

For a translation

DFEH assists anyone who needs a translation into his or her native language: