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California Protects the Civil Rights of Members of the Military and Veterans

Thomas M. Lee
California Protects the Civil Rights

In California, members of the military and veterans are protected from discrimination and harassment in employment, housing, and business establishments.

It is unlawful for employers, landlords, businesses of all kinds, health care providers and insurers, homeless shelters, and others to discriminate against anyone or harass them because of their military or veteran status.

Under California law, military and veteran status includes being a member or veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, U.S. Armed Forces Reserve, U.S. National Guard, or California National Guard, or being perceived as one. The law also forbids discrimination against someone because they associate with a member of the military or a veteran, such as veteran’s spouse or child.

If you have experienced discrimination or harassment because you are, are perceived to be, or associate with a member of the military or veteran, file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), California’s civil rights agency. And, don’t forget that California law protects everyone (including members of the military and veterans) from discrimination and harassment based on race, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, and other protected characteristics.

Examples of Unlawful Discrimination

  • An employer won’t consider your application or denies you a promotion because you served in the military
  • Your co-workers or superiors harass you because you are a woman who served in the military
  • Your employer denies you a reasonable accommodation for your disability because you are a veteran
  • A landlord won’t rent to you because you are a member of the military
  • Staff at a homeless shelter treats you unequally because they perceive you to be a veteran
  • A used car dealership gives you less favorable loan terms because you are a same-sex spouse of someone in the military
  • A restaurant denies you service because you arrive with a member of the military

Potential Remedies

  • Compensation for losses and emotional distress
  • Training and policy changes to prevent future discrimination
  • Making available previously denied housing
  • Hiring, reinstatement, or promotion
  • Other remedies, such as penalties, fines, reporting, or monitoring

Please note that the information provided on this website is for general information purposes only and is not to be construed nor relied upon as legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. For a free consultation with Attorney Thomas M. Lee, please contact us.

Client Reviews

Mr. Lee is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to employment law. I was amazed by his tenacity and skill and in the end, I walked away with a settlement I was very happy about. I highly recommended him to anyone.

- Sarah G.

Earlier this year I was very confused about a legal employer/employee situation and needed professional advice. In my desire to move quickly on my situation I spent hours signing up for legal services (e.g. legal shield...

- Richard H., Los Angeles, CA

Hands down, the best immigration lawyer in Los Angeles that you could possibly find. Period. After an extremely poor experience with another law firm, which had come highly recommended by one of my company's attorneys...

- Robert K., Beverly Hills, CA

My old company was breaking some labor laws and I decided to look for some legal advice. I went to Tom to see what course of action I can take and when we sat down to talk about the details, I decided to hire him and his...

- Ethan Y., Orange, CA

It's quite rare to find a lawyer that sincerely cares about your best interest. Most employment lawyers are extremely hungry for business which makes them naturally have their best interest not mine. However, Tom truly...

- Jen T., Central LA, Los Angeles, CA

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