State Agencies and Resources
California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) [www.dfeh.ca.gov]
The DFEH is the state agency charged with investigating complaints of workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). In order to file a lawsuit for these claims, an employee must first file a complaint with the DFEH.
California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) [www.dir.ca.gov/DLSE]
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. Employees can report violations of state labor laws or file individual wage claims for lost wages, penalties and other applicable damages with this agency.
California Employment Development Department (EDD) [www.edd.ca.gov]
The California Employment Development Department (EDD) offers a wide variety of services to millions of Californians under the Employment Service, Unemployment Insurance, State Disability Insurance, Workforce Investment, and Labor Market Information programs. As California’s largest tax collection agency, the EDD also handles the collection, accounting, and auditing of payroll taxes and maintains employment records for nearly 17 million California workers. Eligible employees may file unemployment claims, state disability claims and claims for paid family leave with EDD.
California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) [www.dir.ca.gov/dosh]
The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), better known as Cal/OSHA, protects workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California through its research and standards, enforcement, and consultation programs. Workers can learn about their rights to a safe and healthful workplace, or file workplace safety complaints, among other things, with this agency.
Los Angeles Superior Court [www.lasuperiorcourt.org]
The Los Angeles Superior Court website provides an array of information that can help you navigate the court process and the courthouse, or track cases that have been filed in L.A. Superior Court.
State Bar of California [www.calbar.ca.gov]
The State Bar is a public corporation within the judicial branch of government, serving as an arm of the California Supreme Court. All State Bar members are officers of the court. Membership in The State Bar of California affords attorneys the right and privilege of practicing law in this state. The bar's integrated network of functions and services — many of them mandated by law — protects the public and assists attorneys in meeting their professional obligations.
Federal Agencies and Resources
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) [www.eeoc.gov]
The EEOC is the federal agency charged with investigating complaints of workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation under the several federal laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act (EPA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In order to file a lawsuit under these and other federal anti-discrimination laws, an employee must first file a complaint with the EEOC.
U.S. Department of Labor [www.dol.gov]
The Department of Labor (DOL) promotes the welfare of the job seekers, wage earners, and retirees of the United States by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities for profitable employment, protecting their retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find workers, strengthening free collective bargaining, and tracking changes in employment, prices and other national economic measurements. In carrying out this mission, the Department administers a variety of Federal labor laws including those that guarantee workers’ rights to safe and healthful working conditions; a minimum hourly wage and overtime pay; freedom from employment discrimination; unemployment insurance; and other income support.
Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) [www.osha.gov]
The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal counterpart to Cal/OSHA and also works to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. Workers can file complaints about injuries, health and safety violations or report discrimination and/or retaliation resulting from an exercise of rights under the OSH Act with this agency.
Professional & Advocacy Organizations
California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA) [www.cela.org]
The California Employment Lawyers Association is a statewide organization of attorneys representing employees in termination, discrimination, wage and hour, and other employment cases. CELA helps its member attorneys protect and expand the legal rights of California’s workers through litigation, education and advocacy.
National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) [www.nela.org]
The National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) is a nationwide organization of attorneys that works to advance employee rights and serves lawyers who advocate for equality and justice in the American workplace.
Disability Rights Legal Center [www.disabilityrightslegalcenter.org]
The Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC) is a strong advocate for disability rights, in the community, the society, and the world. Advocacy includes litigation, administrative advocacy, legal information, and policy making. Workers with disabilities who want more information about their rights or who believe they have been discriminated against can contact DRLC for more information.
Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) [www.caoc.com]
Consumer Attorneys of California is an organization with more than 3,000 lawyers that represents plaintiffs in tort actions. Individuals with personal injury, medical malpractice, negligence or other tort cases can contact this agency for assistance finding an attorney to represent them.
Workplace Fairness [www.workplacefairness.org]
Workplace Fairness is a California non-profit dedicated to providing workers with the information they need to promote fair and sustainable workplace practices. Workplace Fairness believes that fair treatment of workers is sound public policy and good business practice, and that free access to comprehensive, unbiased information about workers' rights is an essential ingredient in any fair workplace
The Impact Fund [www.impactfund.org]
The Impact Fund provides strategic leadership and support for litigation to achieve economic and social justice. It provides funds for impact litigation in the areas of civil rights, environmental justice, and poverty law. It also offers innovative technical support, training, and expertise on issues that arise in large scale impact litigation.
Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County [www.nlsla.org]
NLSLA’s primary mission is to combat poverty through the judicial system to improve the lives of individuals and families and in our community. It offers free legal representation, advice and education. NLSLA provides free workshops to assist residents with income tax returns, naturalization applications, worker's rights concerns, and foreclosure prevention. It runs toll-free hotlines, Self-Help Legal Access Centers inside ten LA County Superior Courthouses, three Medical Legal Community Partnerships and numerous walk-in clinics and workshops.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law [www.lawyerscommittee.org]
The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure equal justice for all through the rule of law, targeting in particular the inequities confronting African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities. The Lawyers' Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar's leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity.
Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) [www.equalrights.org]
Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) is a national civil rights organization dedicated to protecting and expanding economic and educational access and opportunities for women and girls. Through its three advocacy campaigns – Equal Rights in Education, Equality for Marginalized Women Workers, and Equal Rights for Working Families – ERA works to eliminate these forms of gender discrimination so all women can realize their full potential.
Worksafe is a California-based organization dedicated to eliminating all types of workplace hazards. Worksafe advocates for protective worker health and safety laws and effective remedies for injured workers. It watchdogs government agencies to ensure they enforce these laws. It also engages in campaigns in coalition with unions, workers, community, environmental and legal organizations, and scientists to eliminate hazards and toxic chemicals from the workplace.