State contractors or subcontractors or recipients of State funding must not discriminate

State laws require State contractors to take certain measures to prevent discrimination, and prohibit discrimination by recipients of State funding

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is responsible for enforcing state laws that make it illegal for recipients of state funding to discriminate in their activities or programs because of the categories listed in the box “Who is Protected.” DFEH also enforces the state laws that require contractors to take certain steps to prevent discrimination.

Requirements for State Contractors

Section 12990(c)

California Government Code section 12990(c) requires that every state contract and subcontract for public works or for goods or services contain a nondiscrimination clause prohibiting discrimination on the bases listed in the box “Who is Protected.” Contractors and subcontractors are also required to give written notice of their obligations under the nondiscrimination clause to labor organizations with which they have a collective bargaining or other agreement. This notice requirement also must be specified within the nondiscrimination clause itself.

If you become aware that a state contract or subcontract does not conform to Section 12990, or that a contractor or subcontractor has not complied with the requirements of Section 12990, you can file a complaint with the DFEH. The complaint process starts with filling out and filing a form titled “intake form.”

2 CCR section 11114

Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations, section 11114, requires all state agencies to inform DFEH of any awards of contracts over $5,000, using Department of General Services form STD 16 (“Contract Award Report”). That form may be obtained at the following link: State of California Contact Award Report Std. 16.

Once the form is completed, it should be emailed to (If you receive an error message, please try manually typing the email address rather than allowing Outlook to prepopulate it.)

Requirements for Recipients of State Funding

All recipients of state funding or state financial assistance—including contractors, grantees, local agencies, and programs or activities of all types—are prohibited from discriminating against any individuals on the bases listed in the box “Who is Protected.” Such discrimination includes denial or restriction of access to public accommodations (such as housing or businesses), as well as to streets, highways, hospitals, and other public facilities and places, or to programs or activities, as well as a failure to provide reasonable accommodations to permit such access.

If you believe you have been discriminated against by a recipient of state funding, you can file a complaint with the DFEH. The complaint process starts with filling out and filing a form entitled “intake form.” This form may be filed on-line, by mail, or by email. If you have a disability that prevents you from submitting a written intake form, the DFEH can assist you by scribing your intake by phone as described in our Contact Us section on our website. It is not necessary to file a complaint with DFEH before filing a lawsuit, nor is it necessary to get a “right-to-sue” letter.

If you are a state agency administering a state-funded program, and have reasonable cause to believe that a contractor, grantee, or local agency has discriminated against any individual, you should submit an intake form to DFEH, along with any supporting evidence and your investigatory file.

File a complaint

Click here for instructions on how to file a complaint.

Who is protected?

  • Sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical conditions)
  • Race, color
  • Gender identity, gender expression
  • Religion, creed
  • Ancestry, national origin
  • Ethnic group identification
  • Age
  • Disability, mental and physical
  • Medical condition
  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • Sexual orientation