Hate Violence

California’s Ralph Civil Rights Act protects individuals from hate violence or threats of violence on account of characteristics listed in the section “What is protected?”

What It Looks Like

These are examples of bias-related crimes that are forbidden by the law:

  • Threats, verbal or written
  • Physical assault or attempted assault
  • Hate-related graffiti, including swastikas and other offensive symbols
  • Cross-burning
  • Bomb threats
  • Arson
  • Disturbance of religious meetings
  • Vandalism or property damage

What is Protected

California law protects individuals based on the following:

  • Race, color
  • Ancestry, national origin
  • Religion
  • Primary language
  • Citizenship, immigration status
  • Disability, mental and physical
  • Sex, gender (including pregnancy)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity, gender expression
  • Medical condition
  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • Political affiliation
  • Position in a labor dispute

Available Remedies

Civil remedies available under the Ralph Act:

  • Restraining Orders: After a restraining order is obtained from a court, violators of that court order can be fined or jailed.
  • Actual Damages: Damages may include the cost of the victim’s medical treatment, lost wages, property repair, or payment for emotional suffering and distress.
  • Punitive Damages: A court can order additional damages to punish violators.
  • Civil Penalties: A court may order a fine of $25,000, which would be awarded to the person filing the complaint.
  • Attorney’s Fees: A court may order the payment of the complainant’s attorney fees resulting from the lawsuit.

Communication Center: 800-884-1684 (voice), 800-700-2320 (TTY) or
California's Relay Service at 711 | contact.center@dfeh.ca.gov