California Responds to Hate Crimes During COVID-19 Pandemic

In May 2020, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) released posters to combat hate crimes during the coronavirus pandemic. Acknowledging that Californians have come together to fight the COVID-19 crisis, officials say there have been increased reports of violence and harassment against the Asian-American community.

The poster makes it clear that it’s against the law to threaten or commit acts of violence because of a person’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, ancestry, immigration status, citizenship, primary language, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability, among other protected characteristics. While the COVID-19 pandemic can be scary, hate violence, harassment, intimidation, and discrimination committed against any person because of who they are—a protected characteristic—is illegal under state law.

In addition, the state’s fair employment and housing law prohibits employers, housing providers, and business establishments from discriminating against or harassing people based on a protected characteristic.

The poster is available in several languages on the DFEH’s website at