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Utah Civil Rights Laws

The term “civil rights” can make us think about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960s or gay marriage and fair housing laws today. But what do current civil rights laws cover? And how do federal and state civil rights laws differ from each other? This is an introduction to civil rights laws in Utah.

Civil Rights Laws in Utah

Our civil rights are generally understood as our collective rights to receive fair and equal treatment under the law. Most of our civil rights protections come from the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. In addition, state laws can provide addition protections from discrimination. The table below lists Utah’s civil rights statutes.

Explanation of Terms in Civil Rights Laws Chart

Code Section

Utah Code 13-7-1, et seq.: Commerce and Trade – Civil Rights;

Utah Code 34A-1-101, et seq.: Workforce Services Code;

Utah Code 57-21-1, et seq.: Fair Housing Act


Public Accommodations: None; Employment: Antidiscrimination Division; Housing: Labor Commission

Administrative Preemption

Public Accommodations: No; Employment: Yes; Housing: No

Private Action Permitted?

Public Accommodations: Yes; Employment: No; Housing: Yes

Attorney Fees Recoverable by Plaintiff?

Public Accommodations: Not specified; Employment: Yes; Housing: Yes

Statute of Limitations

Public Accommodations: 3 yrs. (Utah Code 78-12-26); Employment: 180 days; Housing: 180 days/agency, 2 yrs./private

Filing Civil Rights Claims

Protecting the civil rights of the state’s residents generally falls to the state civil rights office. These commissions work to eliminate cases of discrimination by enforcing the state’s civil rights laws, and can handle cases of discrimination in housing, employment, and places of public accommodation, among others. The Utah Labor Commission can answer questions relating to discrimination in employment and the Salt Lake City Human Rights Commission can handle other inquiries and refer you to specific resources.

If you believe you have been the victim of a civil rights violation, there are several options and requirements when it comes to filing a civil rights claim, and you may want to talk to an attorney about the best option for your claim.

Related Resources for Utah Civil Rights Laws

Understanding what kinds of lawsuits are allowed under state and federal civil rights laws can be confusing. If you would like legal assistance regarding a civil rights matter, you can consult with a Utah civil rights attorney in your area. You can also find additional articles and information on this topic by visiting FindLaw’s section on Civil Rights.

Browse Utah Law by Topics

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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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