Discrimination by a Business

The Unruh Civil Rights Act, Civil Code § 51, provides that “All persons within the jurisdiction of this state are free and equal, and no matter what their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship, primary language, or immigration status are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever.”

In addition to the protected characteristics listed in the statute, it can also be unlawful to discriminate for other arbitrary reasons.

Discrimination by a business, that violates the Unruh Act, can include:

  • Refusing to serve people of a certain race (or other arbitrary characteristic)
  • Treating people differently or giving different privileges because of their race (or other arbitrary characteristic)
  • Allowing employees to mistreat customers because of their race (or other arbitrary characteristic)
  • Charging different prices to men and women, for the same service
  • Gender-segregated facilities (other than bathrooms, locker rooms, and other places where people are unclothed)

If you have been mistreated by a business, for an arbitrary reason like race, religion, or gender, you can talk to an experienced civil rights lawyer to find out what your rights may be.

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