The mission of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is to protect Californians from employment, housing and public accommodation discrimination, and hate violence. The DFEH is the largest state civil rights agency in the country. It was established by the Legislature in 1959 as the Division of Fair Employment Practices and was initially part of the Department of Industrial Relations. In 1980, the DFEH was established as an independent department charged with enforcing California’s comprehensive employment, housing, public accommodations and public service non-discrimination laws, as well as the State’s bias-related hate violence law.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office, also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), was established to adjudicate wage claims, investigate discrimination and public works complaints, and enforce Labor Code statutes and Industrial Welfare Commission orders.
Unemployment Insurance is a nationwide program created to provide partial wage replacement to unemployed workers while they conduct an active search for new work. Payments made directly to the individual ensure at least some of life’s necessities such as food, shelter and clothing can be met while looking for work. Unemployment insurance is a federal-state program, based on federal law, but executed through state law. Employers finance the Unemployment insurance program by means of tax contributions.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.