On the 18th of September the State Fair Employment Practices Law (FEPC) became effective thus ending a 14 year fight for legislation to prohibit racial and religious discrimination in employment in California.

The first FEPC bill was introduced by me in 1945 and I have alternated during each succeeding Session with other Legislators in authoring such legislation.

Adoption of the FEPC Law does not mean, however, that the fight against job discrimination is ended, but rather that we now have in California the legal machinery to assist us in obtaining equal employment opportunities for all our citizens.

It, therefore, becomes most essential that we understand the law and how to properly use it. The enclosed material is sent to you for this purpose.

Under the law, an FEPC Office is soon to be established in the downtown area of Los Angeles. In the meantime all inquiries or communications (including complaints alleging discrimination) can be sent to the head of the new Division, Mr. Edward Howden, 965 Mission Street, San Francisco.




Makes the opportunity to seek, obtain, and hold employment without discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, or ancestry a civil right and the public policy of our State.


Creates as a new division in the Department of Industrial Relations a State Fair Employment Practices Commission of five members.

NOTE: The Commissioners have now been appointed by the Governor. Chairman of the Commission is former Los Angeles County Supervisor, John Anson Ford.

Powers of the Commission include receiving, investigating, hearing and passing on complaints involving discrimination. It has the power to issue orders to eliminate discrimination if found to exist.


  • (a) Unlawful employment practices are:
    • (1) The act of an employer in refusing to hire or employ an individual, or in barring or discharging him, or in discriminating against him in compensation or in terms, conditions, and privileges of employment because of race, religious creed, color, national origin or ancestry.
    • (2) The act of a labor organization in excluding, expelling, restricting membership, or providing second class or segregated membership or discriminating against any member or employer or any person employed by an employer, on the basis of the race, religious creed, color, national origin, or ancestry of any person.
    • (3) The act of any employer or employment agency in printing, circulating, or causing to be printed or circulated, any publication, or using any employment application, or making any inquiry in connection with prospective employment which expresses in any way any limitation, specification or discrimination, based on race, religious creed, color, national origin or ancestry.
    • (4) The act of any employer, labor organization or employment agency in discharging, expelling, or
      otherwise discriminating against any person because of his opposition to any of the forbidden practices, his filing of a complaint under the act, or his testifying or assisting in any proceeding under the Act; and
    • (5) The act of any person aiding, abetting, inciting, compelling, or coercing the doing of the forbidden acts.
  • (b) Subject employers are those employing five or more persons including the State and political and civil subdivisions thereof and cities, but not including:
    • (1) Non-profit social clubs, fraternal, charitable, educational, or religious associations or corporations; and
    • (2) That employers and employees are not covered in respect to farm work performed by agricultural workers residing on the land on which they are employed.

      (NOTE - An individual employed by his parents, spouse, or child, or in domestic service in the home of any person, is not a subject employee).


Orders may be issued by the Commission directing the person found guilty of discrimination to stop such discrimination and to hire, restore to employment or membership, promote, etc. the person discriminated against.

The Commission may enforce its orders through the courts. Violation of an order of the Commission is a misdemeanor.


About this text
Courtesy of Dept of Special Collections/UCLA Library, A1713 Charles E. Young Research Library, 405 Hilgard Ave, Box 951575, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575;
Title: Press release, California Fair Employment Practices Law
By:  Hawkins, Augustus F, Author
Date: 1959
Contributing Institution: Dept of Special Collections/UCLA Library, A1713 Charles E. Young Research Library, 405 Hilgard Ave, Box 951575, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575;
Copyright Note:

Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Augustus F. Hawkins

Permission has been granted to the University of California to reproduce this item. Information is kept on file at UCLA.