DFEH CLAIMS, EEOC CLAIMS
The Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are administrative agencies which administer complaints of unlawful harassment and discrimination and/or retaliation in the workplace. Although the DFEH is a California agency and the EEOC is a federal agency, both may administer these types of complaints against California employers.
A pre-requisite to filing a civil lawsuit in Superior Court against an employer on the basis of unlawful harassment and discrimination and/or retaliation in the workplace, is the timely filing of an administrative complaint with either the DFEH or the EEOC. Inasmuch, the filing of an administrative complaint against an employer frequently leads to the subsequent filing of a civil lawsuit in Superior Court alleging the same claims.
Of import, often times, an administrative ruling in favor of the employer may prevent or otherwise discourage an employee from subsequently filing a civil lawsuit. Therefore, it is advisable that an employer retain legal counsel during the DFEH/EEOC's investigative process into a complaint filed against it. Indeed, often times the information and documents requested may be beyond the scope of the employee's complaint and therefore legally objectionable.