California Civil Rights Laws
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed November 18, 2019
Last updated 11/18/2019
The rights of individuals to receive equal treatment under the law are collectively called civil rights. California civil rights laws generally mirror federal civil rights laws, with a few notable exceptions. For instance, California recognizes sexual orientation as a protected status. This means it is a violation of state (but not federal) law to discriminate against members of the LGBT community for purposes of employment or housing.
The following chart provides the relevant code sections and basic provisions of California's civil rights laws.
|Code Section||Civ. §§51, et seq. (Public Accommodations) Gov. §12940 et seq. (Housing & employment)|
|Agency||Civ §§51: None; Gov. §12940: Dept. of Fair Employment and Housing|
|Private Action Permitted?||Yes|
|Attorney Fees Recoverable by Plaintiff?||Yes|
|Statute of Limitations||Civ. §51: 3 yrs.; Gov. §12940: 1 yr./agency|
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a California civil rights attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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