California law protects victims of hate crimes or threats related to bias
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Under the Ralph Act, you may have rights to civil remedies if you were the victim of violence or threats of violence AND you were targeted because of a personal characteristic. Examples of characteristics include race, sexual orientations, gender, native language, and many others. Possible remedies include money to pay for medical treatment or repairs you must make to your property, or compensation for pay you lost as a result of being targeted.
The law has been applied (or could be) to such situations as:
- A man being physically assaulted by someone who has told him to go back to his country;
- An activist being shoved and knocked to the ground by someone criticizing her affiliation with the immigrants’ rights movement.
- An Asian-American kicked in the workplace by someone who is mocking her facial features;
- An employee fearing for her safety after a supervisor repeatedly sexually harasses her at work; or
- A Jewish person who finds a swastika and a death threat painted onto his house.