The City of Los Angeles is a diverse metropolis, whose residents represent nearly every culture, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation and physical disability. The combination of all these different groups has made the City of Los Angeles rich in diversity with its own unique blend of cultures. Sadly, there are specific groups and individuals that are motivated by hate, and are willing to act violently towards others based upon these differences. These criminal acts referred to as hate crimes affect not just individuals, but entire communities.
Over the past several years, there has been an alarming rise of hate crimes and incidents against marginalized members of our community. The California Fair Employment and Housing Council (Council) and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) have taken increased and focused actions to try and address this surge of civil rights abuses. Victims of hate incidents might not be aware that they can file a complaint with DFEH and/or seek civil remedies through court action under the Ralph Civil Rights Act, Cal. Civ. Code Section 51, and thereby secure restraining orders, actual damages, punitive damages, civil penalties and attorney’s fees.