Wednesday, February 1, 2023

DFEH Renamed California Civil Rights Department

Don’t be confused if you start hearing about the California Civil Rights Department (CRD). It’s not a new government agency — just the renamed California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

Beginning July 1, 2022, the DFEH was renamed to the CRD, which is now starting to update its website content, posters and brochures with the new name and logo. For instance, its new web address is calcivilrights.ca.gov (although the old DFEH web address currently reroutes to that).

Civil Rights Services

The CRD still reflects all the same existing powers and authorities of the DFEH; the rename is to more fully capture the services that the department provides — and hopefully increase public access to its services.

Although the DFEH enforced civil rights for housing and employment, it was also required to respond to allegations of civil rights violations in several other contexts, such as prohibiting:

• Discrimination against consumers;

• Discrimination between businesses;

• Hate violence;

• Discrimination in public accommodations;

• Discrimination in state-funded programs and activities;

• Human trafficking; and

• Sexual harassment in business, service or professional relationships.

Similarly, the Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) has been renamed as the California Civil Rights Council (CRC).

Stakeholder feedback over the last few years motivated the name change, “especially since the pandemic struck and the increase in hate violence, and recognition that the former name of the department was actually an obstacle to some people being able to access our services,” said CRD Deputy Director of Executive Programs Adam Romero at the CRC’s August 10 Meeting.

New Name, Same Duties

What Does This Mean for California Employers?

Not much. Over the next year, the CRD plans on launching a public education campaign to let Californians know that the CRD is doing the same work as the DFEH, just under a new name.

Employers will need to keep an eye out for any new updates to the CRD’s required posters, guides and fact sheets, as the name, logo and version/date will likely be updated within the next six months.

CalChamber will update these resources once the changes occur and is currently working on updating DFEH references on HRCalifornia to CRD.

CalChamber members can read more about Laws Prohibiting Discrimination, including the state Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and California laws prohibiting human trafficking, in the HR Library on HRCalifornia. Not a member? See how CalChamber can help you.

Staff Contact: Katie Culliton

Katie Culliton
Katie Culliton
Katie Culliton joined the CalChamber in April 2015 as an editor. She coordinates more than 400 forms on HRCalifornia and edits the California Labor Law Digest, HR Quick Guide for California Employers and the HRCalifornia website. She also has written for CalChamber blogs and newsletters, including HRCalifornia Extra, California Employer Update and the HRWatchdog blog. Culliton has a B.A. in political science from the University of California, Davis and an M.A. in liberal arts from California State University, Sacramento.

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