California law protects individuals from illegal discrimination by a business based on Disability Or Medical Condition

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California law protects individuals from illegal discrimination by a business establishment based on Disability, mental or physical; Or Medical condition.

Discrimination at Business Establishments: California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act protects those with the characteristics listed in the section “What is protected?” from discrimination or harassment by business establishments. This law requires both public and private businesses to provide individuals “full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges or services.” It applies to housing and public accommodations as well as to establishments such as stores, restaurants, barber shops, among others.


State law provides for a variety of remedies for victims of housing discrimination, including:

Up to three times the actual damages and no less than $4,000 in statutory damages

Out-of-pocket expenses

Cease and desist orders

Damages for emotional distress

Punitive damages

Statutory damages

Attorney’s fees and costs


In order for DFEH to prepare a complaint and initiate an investigation, you will need to provide specific dates when you believed you were harmed.

Depending on the facts of your case, you may have the following documents that we recommend you bring to your scheduled intake interview with a DFEH representative.

Disability-related claims

Documents showing a request for reasonable accommodation (emails/letters/text messages)

Documents showing a denial of a reasonable accommodation (emails/letters/text messages)

Relevant medical documentation supporting the request for a reasonable accommodation or modification


The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is the institutional centerpiece of California’s broad anti-discrimination and hate crimes policy. Born out of a decades-long struggle to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, and business establishments, the DFEH has been at the forefront of protecting civil rights in California since its inception. Today, the DFEH is the largest state civil rights agency in the country.

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