Working with the public, state, federal and local government agencies, and with civil rights and community organizations, the Civil Rights Enforcement Section endeavors to prosecute those who have violated the law, and seeks the strongest remedies to deter further violations. Activities range from enforcement actions brought independently by the Attorney General to the representation of various state agencies, to community outreach and public education.

In addition to addressing California's Ralph Civil Rights Act, Bane Civil Rights Act and Unruh Civil Rights Act, the Civil Rights Enforcement Section represents state agencies responsible for enforcement of state civil rights laws. These state agencies include:

  • Department of Fair Employment and Housing
  • Fair Employment and Housing Commission
  • Native American Heritage Commission, which is charged with enforcing the Native American Heritage Act that protects Native American burial and sacred sites;
  • Commission on the Status of Women, which studies issues affecting women and makes recommendations to the state Legislature and governor;
  • Division of the State Architect on matters relating to state disabled access laws; and
  • California Department of Housing and Community Development with respect to issues concerning state laws that encourage the building of low and moderate income housing.

The Civil Rights Enforcement Section also is involved in amicus curiae briefs filed on behalf of the Attorney General and state agencies in cases brought by others that raise significant questions of law of interest or importance to California.

The Civil Rights Enforcement Section is involved as well in projects with other states and the federal government. Working with the National Association of Attorneys General and the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, California is involved in five multi-state task forces addressing disabled access to places of public accommodation, mortgage lending discrimination, housing discrimination, bias-related crimes, and employment.