Free legal assistance offered to California and Hawaii hate victims at the workplace


A new initiative is offering free legal consultations to California and Hawaii workers who have been subjected to racial harassment or discrimination on the job.

About the initiative: Spearheaded by the California/Hawaii State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (CAL/HI NAACP), the "Stop the Hate Legal Redress" program is aimed at combating racial discrimination in workplaces across the two states. According to Rick L. Callender, president of CAL/HI NAACP, the program aligns with the organization's commitment to championing equality and addressing racial discrimination.

"If you've been discriminated against because of your race, if you've been the subject of hate because of your race, we want to make sure that we're providing legal representation and advice for you,” Callender said, according to ABC10.

A pressing issue: Racial harassment, as outlined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, encompasses a range of behaviors, including offensive conduct, slurs, gestures and more. Callender noted that despite progress, racial discrimination remains a pressing issue.

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How it works: The assistance, which is open to all current or former California or Hawaii employees in both the public and private sector, involves submitting a Civil & Human Rights Complaint (CHRC) form to a local NAACP branch. Once the form is received, the local branch's Legal Redress Committee examines the complaint, specifically focusing on triggers related to "Racial Discrimination" or "Racial Harassment." If it is determined that legal intervention is required, the case is referred to the State Conference, which then connects the complainant with a qualified law firm.

What makes it possible: The legal services are made possible through funding from the Stop the Hate Program, a component of the Asian and Pacific Islander Equity Budget established in 2021 to combat hate against Asian and Pacific Islander communities. The program collaborates with two law firms, Bracy Hawkins Law, P.C. and Webber & Egbert Employment Law, P.C., to provide legal consultations and potential representation.

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