DFEH Issues 2008 Annual Report

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing enforces California's Fair Employment and Housing Act, the anti-discrimination and medical leave law. The agency just issued its annual report for 2008, which you can find here. It's graphic-heavy and mercifully short!

Of note, the DFEH noted discrimination complaints were up nearly 20% over 2007. The agency took in about 20,000 discrimination charges, almost 19,000 of which alleged employment (rather than housing) discrimination.

How does that break down? The most common form of discrimination alleged? Disability (about a third of the charges filed). Retaliation was right behind disability. Race, sexual harassment, and age discrimination constituted about 20% each of the total.

DFEH settled about 960 cases, for about $9.5 million in payments from employers and landlords to complainants.

Finally, the report highlighted the new automated charge filing system, and the new automated right to sue system. They're also working on intake filing by telephone, which should result in a lot more charges.

The best way to avoid a charge is prevention. Besides a solid policy and training, communication with employees and an effective system for complaints are the best way to prevent claims to third parties like the DFEH.