State Civil Rights Offices

Civil rights laws protect us from unequal treatment, including discrimination in a number of settings. Knowing what civil rights laws are applicable to your situation is an important initial step to take in dealing with a potential civil rights violation. Many laws at the federal level prohibit discrimination and originate from federal legislation via acts such as the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (FHA) or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Federal civil rights protections also stem from federal court decisions, such as significant U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

In addition to federal laws, there are also local and state laws that prohibit discrimination. Many of the state laws mirror the federal law civil rights laws and offer the same protections, but state laws may be more extensive and often offer additional coverage not available at the federal level. For example, some state laws include protection for people who identify as LGBTQ. In cases where there is no federal recourse for a civil rights violation, you may be able to seek relief at the state level. When you have experienced a state civil rights violation, then you should investigate where to turn for guidance on civil rights enforcement.

Each state has its own division charged with protecting the civil rights of the state's residents. These commissions typically work to eliminate cases of discrimination by enforcing the state's civil rights laws. That can include discrimination in housing, employment, places of public accommodation, and more. Find the link to your state, to learn more about your division's work.

Alabama United States Attorneys Office (Southern District)
Alaska Commission for Human Rights (FEPA)
Arizona Attorney General's Office - Civil Rights Division
Arkansas Fair Housing Commission
California Attorney General's Office - Civil Rights Division
Colorado Civil Rights Division
Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities
Delaware Secretary of State's Office of Human Relations
District of Columbia Office of Human Rights
Florida Commission on Human Relations
Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity
Hawaii Civil Rights Commission
Idaho Human Rights Commission
Illinois Department of Human Rights
Indiana Civil Rights Commission
Iowa Civil Rights Commission
Kansas Human Rights Commission
Kentucky Commission on Human Rights
Louisiana Commission on Human Rights
Maine Human Rights Commission
Maryland Commission on Human Relations
Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
Michigan Department of Civil Rights
Minnesota Department of Human Rights
Mississippi Department of Employment Security
Missouri Commission on Human Rights
Montana Human Rights Bureau
Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission
Nevada Equal Rights Commission
New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights
New Jersey Division on Civil Rights
New Mexico Human Rights Commission
New York State Division of Human Rights
North Carolina Human Relations Commission
North Dakota Human Rights Division
Ohio Civil Rights Commission
Oklahoma Human Rights Commission
Oregon Civil Rights Division
Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office - Civil Rights Enforcement Section
Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights
South Carolina Human Affairs Commission
South Dakota Division of Human Rights
Tennessee Human Rights Commission
Texas Civil Rights Division
Utah Antidiscrimination and Labor Division
Vermont Human Rights Commission
Virginia The Division of Human Rights
Washington State Human Rights Commission
West Virginia Human Rights Commission
Wisconsin Equal Rights Division
Wyoming Department of Workforce Services: Your Labor Rights

Protect Your Civil Rights

It is important to know not only know the civil rights protections available to you, but also how to address your specific issue by having access to state civil rights offices. If you have been discriminated against and need to know more about your possible claim, you should talk to a civil rights attorney who can help you protect your rights. An attorney can help you distinguish between your protection at the state and federal level.

Next Steps

Contact a qualified civil rights attorney to help you protect your rights.

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