Frequently Asked Questions

For the answers to the most frequently asked questions received by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, click on a subject below.

Para obtener respuestas a las preguntas más frecuentes recibidas por el Departamento de Igualdad en el Empleo y la Vivienda, oprima aqui.

If your question isn’t answered or you need more information, please contact us.

Answers to FAQs are provided for informational purposes only. Reading them does not create an attorney/client relationship or other legal relationship between the reader and DFEH. Please refer to the laws section or your local law library for specific legal requirements.

Frequently Used Terms

Here are the definitions of some of the words and phrases used frequently at the Department of Fair Employment and Housing:

  • Complainant
    • The individual filing a complaint
  • Respondent
    • The person who must respond to a complaint
  • Protected class / category / basis
    • People with characteristics – race, gender, etc. – who are protected from discrimination in California
  • Disability
    • A physical or mental condition that limits a major life activity
  • Pre-complaint inquiry
    • What someone needs to submit to DFEH before he/she may file a complaint
  • Right-to-sue
    • The option some complainants have to pursue private legal action
  • California Civil Rights System, CCRS
    • The cloud-based application allows members of the public and their representatives to submit complaints online 24/7 for all of the civil rights laws DFEH enforces. In addition to submitting intake forms, individuals can schedule appointments, view the status of their cases, submit notes to DFEH, request right-to-sue notices for court filing, submit public records act requests, submit appeals, or withdraw cases, all online.
    • If you previously had an account in Houdini, please contact and provide us with your email address so we can enable your access to CCRS. You will receive a password reset email within 24 hours.

The precise legal definitions of these words and phrases are found in the Laws and Regulations that govern DFEH. In all cases, those prevail.