The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) will open their sixth office this summer in Riverside, making it easier for those in the surrounding areas to file in-person complaints.
Riverside and San Bernardino Counties account for the third-highest number of DFEH complaints at nine percent, behind Los Angeles county at 35 percent and Orange county at 10 percent. Before the DFEH obtained funding through the Department of Finance to open the new office, its operations were based out of its other locations in Bakersfield, Elk Grove, Freemont, Fresno and Los Angeles.
According to Fahizah Alim, DFEH deputy director of communications, although most complaints are filed online, those who prefer to file in-person will no longer need to travel the distance to Los Angeles in order to be heard.
Alim said in an email that the office is expected to open on July 1st. There will be 17 office spaces or cubicles which can be used by more than a 17-person staff. “It can be used by many more than 17 as we will continue to have some staff telework and some staff come into the office,” she said.
The largest state civil rights agency in the country, the DFEH aims to protect residents from employment, housing and public accommodation discrimination, and hate violence. It was originally a division within the Department of Industrial Relations, but it became separate in 1980. Today, it is considered part of the California Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency.