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Kentucky Civil Rights Laws

The phrase “civil rights” can evoke images of social justice movements in the 1960s and icons like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. More recently, civil rights laws have been used to combat racial discrimination and guarantee fair housing and equal opportunity hiring. And today, civil rights arguments have been used to overturn bans on gay marriage. So what do civil rights laws in the Bluegrass State cover? Here's an introduction to civil rights laws in Kentucky.

Civil Rights Laws

State civil rights laws refer to the collective rights of citizens to receive fair and equal treatment under the law. The majority of civil rights protections exist at the federal level, and are derived from the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That said, state civil rights statutes can mirror federal regulations and in some cases provide greater protections against discrimination.

Civil Rights Laws in Kentucky

The table below highlights the specifics of Kentucky’s civil rights statutes.

Code Section

Kentucky Revised Statutes 344.010, et seq.: Civil Rights


Commission on Human Rights

Administrative Preemption


Private Action Permitted?


Attorney Fees Recoverable by Plaintiff?


Statute of Limitations

180 days

Filing Civil Rights Claims

Most states have a state civil rights office that enforces civil rights protections. These commissions are able to file lawsuits on behalf of citizens to punish cases of discrimination under the state’s civil rights statutes and hopefully deter them in the future. These lawsuits can cover complaints regarding discrimination in employment, housing, elder care, and more. In this state, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights can answer your questions relating to discrimination in employment, school, and public accommodations, and is able to provide forms and resources for filing civil rights claims.

If you think that you, or someone you know, has had their civil rights violated, you should be aware of the options and the legal requirements when it comes to filing a civil rights claim. For example, it is important to understand where, and how, state civil rights laws overlap federal civil rights statutes and the courts in which you can file a civil rights claim.

Kentucky Civil Rights Laws: Related Resources

Trying to figure state and federal civil rights laws and determining the kinds of cases they cover can be confusing. You can contact a Kentucky civil rights attorney near you if you would like legal advice with a civil rights matter. You can visit also FindLaw’s Civil Rights section for additional articles and information on this topic.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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