Resources for Public Accommodations & Business Establishments
Table of Contents
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) & the Unruh Civil Rights Act
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is responsible for investigating complaints of discrimination in violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, which prohibits many forms of discrimination by business establishments in California. DFEH prosecutes violations of the Unruh Act and assists involved parties to resolve complaints.
- (800) 884-1684
- Unruh Act Pamphlet: https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2017/12/DFEH_UnruhPa...
- Unruh Act Fact Sheet: https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2017/12/DFEH_UnruhFa...
- (en español) Derechos Civiles y Discriminacion en el Accesso a Lugares Publicos: https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2018/09/DFEH_UnruhPa...
- (en español) La Ley De Derechos Civiles Unruh: https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2019/05/DFEH_UnruhFa...
The U.S. Department of Justice - Civil Rights Division
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division handles complaints of discrimination under federal laws. DOJ may investigate complaints regarding discrimination by business establishments, schools, police, jails, or prisons, as well as discrimination in employment, housing, or voting rights.
Contact the Department of Justice to report a civil rights violation:
Phone: 855-856-1247 (toll-free) or 202-514-3847
Online report form: https://civilrights.justice.gov/report/
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001
Other Resources for Complaints about Business Establishments/Public Accommodations
San Francisco & Bay Area
San Francisco District Attorney, Consumer Protection Unit
Phone: (415) 551-9595, Fraud Hotline: (415) 553-9535
San Francisco Small Claims Court, ACCESS Self-Help Center
400 McAllister St., Room 509
Information Line: (415) 551-5880
Alameda County District Attorney
Consumer and Environmental Protection Division
Phone: (510) 383-8600
Alameda County Consumer Affairs Commission
Alameda County Administration Building
1221 Oak Street, Suite 536, Oakland, CA 94612
Referral Assistance: 510-208-9672
San Mateo County District Attorney
Consumer and Environmental Protection Unit
Phone: (650) 363-4651
400 County Center, 3rd Floor, Redwood City
Community Boards (mediation services)
601 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 2040, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (415) 777-9635
221 Main Street, Suite 480, San Francisco, CA 94105
The Utility Reform Network (TURN)
(for Phone, Gas, & Electric utilities)
Phone: (415) 929-8876
Office: 785 Market Street, Suite 1400
Child Care Law Center
The Child Care Law Center works to protect children and child care providers from discrimination, and to ensure equal access to high quality, inclusive child care.
445 Church Street, San Francisco, CA 94114
California Attorney General
Phone: (916) 322-3360 or (800) 952-5225
California Dept. of Consumer Affairs
Phone: (800) 952-5210
Complaint Referral Table (listing of state agencies for many types of complaints): https://oag.ca.gov/consumers/complaint-referral-table
Consumer Federation of California
Phone: (916) 498-9608
State Bar of California
For complaints against lawyers.
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, or national origin in certain places of public accommodation, such as hotels, restaurants, and places of entertainment. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Rights Division, is responsible for enforcement of the Civil Rights Act.
Civil Rights Division
US Department of Transportation
Aviation Consumer Protection
Phone: 1 (202) 366-4000
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Phone: (855) 411-2372
P.O. Box 4503, Iowa City, Iowa 52244
Resources for People with Disabilities
1330 Broadway, Suite 500, Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 267-1200 or (800) 776-5746
Resources for Complaints about Doctors, Hospitals, or Health Care Matters
California Medical Board (for complaints about Physicians, Surgeons, Midwives, Psychoanalysts, and certain other health care providers)
California Department of Public Health, License & Certification
Responsible for ensuring health care facilities comply with state laws and regulations; also oversees the certification of nurse assistants, home health aides, hemodialysis technicians, and the licensing of nursing home administrators.
150 N. Hill Drive, Brisbane, CA 94005
Phone: (415) 330-6353
Board of Registered Nursing (for complaints about nurses)
PO Box 944210, Sacramento, CA 94244-2100
Phone: (916) 322-3350 Web: www.rn.ca.gov
Complaint information: http://www.rn.ca.gov/enforcement/complaint.shtml
Complaint Form: http://www.rn.ca.gov/pdfs/enforcement/cpltfrm.pdf
Dental Board of California (for complaints about dentists)
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1550, Sacramento, California 95815
Phone: (916) 263-2300 Web: www.dbc.ca.gov
Complaint information: https://www.dbc.ca.gov/consumers/complaints.shtml
California Department of Managed Health Care (for complaints about health insurance plans & health maintenance organizations)
Mail: 980 9th Street, Suite 500, Sacramento, CA 95814-2725
Resources for Complaints about Schools, Colleges, or Universities
San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD)
The SFUSD Office of Equity implements the Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP) for complaints of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying.
555 Franklin Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94102
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (to make a complaint about a teacher/educator)
Mailing address: California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, 1900 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95811-4213
Email: DPPquestions@ctc.ca.gov or DPPInfo@ctc.ca.gov
California Department of Education, Uniform Complaints Procedures (for pupils, parents, teachers, and community)
For questions regarding appeals please contact the Education Equity UCP Office at 916-319-8239 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
City College of San Francisco, Student Affairs & Wellness: Complaints & Grievances
Information on City College’s internal complaint procedures: https://www.ccsf.edu/en/student-services/student-conduct/CG.html
The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Mail: 10 Commercial Boulevard, Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949
Phone: (415) 506-0234
Fax: (415) 506-0238
U.S. Department of Education (DOE), Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Information on filing a complaint with the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/howto.html?src=rt
Office for Civil Rights hotline: 1-800-421-3481
San Francisco Office
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
50 United Nations Plaza
Mail Box 1200, Room 1545, San Francisco, CA 94102
FAX: 415-486-5570; TDD: 800-877-8339
Resources for Complaints about Public Transportation
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)
Mailing address: Office of Civil Rights, 300 Lakeside Drive, Suite 1800, Oakland, CA 94612
Complaint form and additional information: bart.gov/sites/default/files/docs/Title_VI_Brochure_Rev_9-18-09_ENGLISH.pdf
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)
For discrimination complaints involving MUNI stations, trains, buses, streetcars, and cable cars.
Phone: in San Francisco, call 311. From outside San Francisco, call 415.701.2311 or TTY 415.701.2323
Mailing address for Title VI Complaints: One South Van Ness Avenue, 7th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103
Information about filing a discrimination complaint: https://www.sfmta.com/about-us/contact-us/title-vi-discrimination-and-co...
Online form for complaints/feedback: https://www.sfmta.com/getting-around/muni/muni-feedback
Federal Transit Administration
Mailing address: Office of Civil Rights
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590
Information about filing a complaint for discrimination by a public transit provider: https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/civil-rights-ada/fi...
Resources for Complaints about Airport Access or Services
Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Complaint form and additional information: https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/civil-rights-ada/fi...
San Francisco Airport Commission
Title VI/§504 Compliance Coordinator
Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
San Francisco International Airport
PO Box 8097
San Francisco, CA 94128
Information about filing a complaint: https://www.flysfo.com/orphan/TitleVI/instructions.html
Resources For Legal Advice/Representation
Lawyer Referral & Information Service - Bar Association of San Francisco
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California
The ACLU may be able to offer legal guidance or representation for matters involving discrimination by a government agency or matters involving discrimination by a business establishment due to race, ethnicity, religion, disability or other protected characteristics.
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)
NCLR is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, legislation, policy, and public education. NCLR may be able to offer legal advice, referrals, or representation for matters involving discrimination due to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or related issues.
Legal Help Line: 1.800.528.6257 or 415.392.6257