As part of the City of Lakewood’s ongoing Community Dialogue on race, equity, diversity and inclusion, the city annually publicizes the ways that Lakewood residents can protect their civil rights against discrimination.
Both the state and federal governments have agencies and staff devoted to protecting the right of people to be free of unlawful discrimination, harassment, or abuse in a variety of settings like housing, the workplace, school, voting, healthcare, public spaces, while patronizing a business, while interacting with law enforcement, and more. People may not be discriminated against based on their: race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, primary language, citizenship, immigration status, disability, sex or gender (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, marital status and more.
Examples of illegal discrimination:
• An African-American couple is denied a table at a restaurant even though there are vacant tables available and other customers are seated immediately.
• Charging men and women different prices for comparable services, such as clothing alterations, haircuts, dry cleaning or drinks at a restaurant or bar.
• Denying re-employment or firing someone based on their service in the military.
To learn more or discuss a potential problem, contact:
• U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division at www.civilrights.justice.gov or (855) 856-1247
• California Department of Fair Employment & Housing at www.dfeh.ca.gov or (800) 884-1684
To make a complaint about discrimination, abuse of force, or any conduct or service by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department personnel, go to www.lasd.org/public-complaint or call 800-698-TALK. You can also contact the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station watch commander 24-hours a day at 562-623-3500. At both contacts above, you can also make commendations for excellent Sheriff’s Department service.
For 29 years, the City of Lakewood has operated a Fair Housing Program to educate residents on their rights and eliminate housing discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, disability or age. Lakewood’s fair housing staff coordinates workshops for residents, assists with landlord-tenant disputes, and refers residents to the proper agencies for housing discrimination claims. To talk with Lakewood’s fair housing staff, call City Hall at (562) 866-9771, ext. 2140 or email Service1@lakewoodcity.org.