February 12, 2024 In Misc. Legal Tips

Store Discrimination: Assessing the Strength of Your Case

Experiencing discrimination in a store is a serious matter that can leave lasting impacts. In California, laws are in place to protect individuals from discrimination based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and other protected characteristics. If you believe you’ve been a victim of such discrimination, understanding the elements that constitute a strong legal case is crucial.

Key Factors to Consider

  1. Type of Discrimination: Identify the basis of discrimination. Was it due to your race, gender, age, disability, or another protected characteristic? California’s anti-discrimination laws cover a wide range of bases, and clarifying this is the first step.
  2. Evidence of Discrimination: Documenting the incident is vital. This could include testimonies from witnesses, video surveillance footage, receipts, or any communication with the store staff or management. Direct evidence, like derogatory comments or actions directly linked to your protected characteristic, strengthens your case.
  3. Comparison with Other Customers: Reflect on whether you were treated differently compared to other customers under similar circumstances. A comparative analysis can help demonstrate discriminatory treatment.
  4. Store Policies: Sometimes, discrimination arises from a store’s policies or practices that are applied in a discriminatory manner. Understanding the store’s policies and how they were applied to you versus other customers can be key.
  5. Impact on You: The emotional and psychological effects of the discrimination you faced are also significant. While harder to quantify, these impacts play a crucial role in understanding the gravity of your case.

Legal Remedies and Steps

  • Civil Rights Violation: If the discrimination you faced violates California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act or the federal Civil Rights Act, you may have grounds for a civil lawsuit.
  • Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH): For certain types of discrimination, filing a complaint with California’s DFEH may be an appropriate step, especially if the discrimination relates to employment within the store.
  • Small Claims Court: For cases involving less severe damages, small claims court can be an option, allowing for a quicker resolution without the need for extensive legal representation.

Moving Forward

Determining whether you have a strong case for discrimination involves carefully considering the specifics of your situation against the backdrop of relevant laws. Each case is unique, with its strength resting on the evidence available, the clarity of the discriminatory act, and the legal standards in place.


Facing discrimination is undeniably challenging, but understanding your rights and the legal framework can empower you to take the necessary steps towards seeking justice. While this overview offers a starting point, each situation’s nuances require careful consideration, often benefiting from professional legal insight.





Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. For advice on your specific situation, please consult with a legal professional.