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Civil Rights

Residents of California have the right to be treated fairly and federal and state laws protect individuals from discrimination in the workplace, unfair treatment when they are seeking housing, and misconduct by law enforcement. LEPINE LAW GROUP routinely fights for those whose civil rights have been violated.

Protection Against Discrimination

In addition to the rights provided to individuals under federal law, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex (including pregnancy, child birth and related medical conditions)
  • Gender, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation
  • Marital status
  • National origin and ancestry
  • Physical and mental disability
  • Genetic information
  • Age (40 or older)
  • Military or veteran status

Under state and federal law, people who possess these characteristics are considered to be part of a protected class. LEPINE LAW GROUP fights hard to enforce these laws and to get you made whole.

Employment Discrimination

FEHA prohibits employers from discrimination in hiring, training, compensating, promoting and terminating employees who possess these protected characteristics. The Act also prohibits retaliation against employees for opposing any forbidden practice, filing a complaint, or testifying or assisting in related proceedings before the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or in court.

In order to have grounds for a lawsuit, an employee must demonstrate that he or she:

  • Belongs to the protected class of individuals
  • Was subjected to an adverse employment action
  • The adverse action was due to the person’s classification Suffered harmed because of the employer's action

An individual who is the victim of employment discrimination has powerful legal recourse to recover compensation for damages including lost wages, emotional distress and attorney fees. In some cases, employees may also recover punitive damages from the employer. Before you file a lawsuit, you must file a claim with the DFEH within one year of the alleged discrimination.  

LEPINE LAW GROUP has expertise in federal and state employment discrimination laws and will aggressively fight  to get you compensated for the violation of your rights.

Housing Discrimination

Individuals have a right to live in housing they can afford and cannot be denied a place to live because of a prohibited bias. The Fair Housing Act (a federal law) and FEHA prohibit discrimination of protected classes of individuals regarding the sale, financing or rental of housing.

Common types of housing discrimination include:

  • Refusal to rent, lease, or sell housing
  • Discriminatory policies, practices, terms, or conditions that result in unequal access to housing or housing-related services
  • Denial of a home loan or homeowner’s insurance
  • Failure to provide reasonable accommodation in housing rules, policies, practices, or procedures where necessary to accommodate a disability

LEPINE LAW GROUP routinely represents victims of housing discrimination. We can help you gain access to housing that was previously denied, obtain compensation for losses and emotional distress, and in certain cases obtain punitive damages when the conduct is done with malice or in conscious disregard of your rights.

Police Misconduct

While the role of law enforcement is to protect society, and most police officers are honest and often put themselves in harm's way to keep us all safe, there are times when police cross the line and abuse their power. The law protects individuals from violations of their civil rights by law enforcement. Common claims against police officers include:

  • False arrest and imprisonment
  • Illegal search and seizure
  • Malicious prosecution
  • Use of excessive force

Police misconduct cases are complicated for a number of reasons including the fact that police are immune from lawsuits for the proper performance of their duties. In order to have grounds for a case, an individual must show that the police engaged in willful, unreasonable conduct. A successful case usually also requires obtaining evidence such as records, police statements, witness statements, pictures and other documentation. In the end, proving police misconduct requires a thorough investigation by highly skilled civil rights attorneys like those at LEPINE LAW GROUP.

Unfortunately, police misconduct often goes unchecked because of the economics of our judicial system. In order for a case to make financial sense for a firm, significant damages, usually meaning physical injuries, are required because attorney fees  afforded by statute are difficult to obtain. That means your attorney can only get paid from the proceeds of your case. At LEPINE LAW GROUP, all too often we hear stories of explicit violations that scar a person in ways that are not visible, and therefore, not recoverable. Rather than sit by and allow these violations to occur without comment, we assist victims of police misconduct in making their claims against the officers involved known to the department and their supervisors. We will walk with you through an internal affairs investigation or a police review board inquiry. Those complaints are lodged in the personnel records of the officers and can be used by other victims to prosecute future claims against them for similar misconduct. This action alone often has a salutary effect on the victim and is helpful in getting his or her life back on track.

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How the Lepine Law Group will Fight for Your Civil Rights

Ms. Lepine is a fierce advocate for individuals who have been victims of civil rights violations. Our attorneys know the law of discrimination and use all tools at their disposal to obtain leverage in favor of their clients’ claims. Often, cases do not fit neatly into one of the statutory schemes which may cause other attorneys to give up on the injustice. At LEPINE LAW GROUP, we use the entire Civil Code to our clients’ advantage. We regularly allege violations of the Unruh Act which protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation, citizenship and immigration status, and the Bane Act which protects against interference of a legally protected right, and other less popular provisions that other attorneys miss. Whether you have suffered discrimination in the workplace, have unfairly been denied housing, or have been the target of police misconduct, she will vigorously fight for your rights. If you believe your civil rights have been violated, call LEPINE LAW GROUP today.



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444 West "C" Street, Suite 140 , San Diego, CA 92101
| Phone: 619.231.1337

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