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Oregon Civil Rights Laws

“Civil rights” can evoke images of the 1950s and 60s: Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. or maybe the women’s rights movement. These civil rights laws can apply to racial, gender, and sexual discrimination in fair housing, equal opportunity hiring, and gay marriage. So how do civil rights laws work in the Beaver State, and what do they cover? And what about federal civil rights statutes? This is a brief overview of civil rights laws in Oregon.

Civil Rights Laws

Civil rights statutes refer to the collective rights of citizens to fair and equal treatment under the law. While every state has their own civil rights laws, most of our protections exist at the federal level, and are derived from the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While state statutes can mirror federal civil rights regulations, in some cases they can provide greater protections against discrimination. A state’s civil rights statutes can apply to various different contexts, dictate whether private civil rights actions are permitted, and set forth applicable statutes of limitations.

Civil Rights Laws in Oregon

The details of Oregon’s civil rights statutes are listed in the chart bellow.

Code Section

Oregon Revised Statutes 659A.001, et seq.: Unlawful Discrimination in Employment, Public Accommodations and Real Property Transactions; Administrative and Civil Enforcement



Bureau of Labor and Industries

Administrative Preemption


Private Action Permitted?


Attorney Fees Recoverable by Plaintiff?


Statute of Limitations

1 yr.

Filing Civil Rights Claims

Civil rights statutes are often enforced locally by a state civil rights office. State offices can handle complaints regarding discrimination in housing, employment, elder care, and more, and file lawsuits on behalf of citizens in an effort to eliminate or punish cases of discrimination. The Oregon Civil Rights Division can answer questions relating to discrimination as well as provide forms and resources for filing civil rights claims. If you believe you or someone you know has been the victim of a civil rights violation, you should know your options and the legal requirements when it comes to filing a civil rights claim.

Oregon Civil Rights Laws: Related Resources

State and federal civil rights laws can be confusing, and determining the kinds of cases they cover and the possible remedies isn’t easy. You can find more information and resources in FindLaw’s section on Civil Rights. You can also contact an Oregon civil rights attorney if you would like legal advice regarding a civil rights matter.

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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