California’s Caste Discrimination Ban Survived the Committee

A bill aimed at banning caste discrimination in California has advanced in committee, despite organized opposition alleging unfair targeting of South Asians. Senate Bill 403, authored by Senator Aisha Wahab, seeks to include caste as a protected class in the state’s civil rights, employment, and housing laws.

While the bill underwent amendments, it was approved unanimously by the Assembly Judiciary Committee and will proceed to the full Assembly for consideration.

Key Points

  • SB 403, if passed, would make California the first state to have a law addressing caste discrimination, a social hierarchy system that historically determines one’s opportunities in education and employment.
  • Amendments were added to categorize caste as a subset of ancestry, which is already a protected trait under state anti-discrimination laws. This modification received acceptance from Senator Wahab.
  • Supporters argue that existing laws do not adequately protect against caste-based discrimination, as it can be challenging to make claims when the perpetrator shares the same race or national origin.
  • Opponents raised concerns about the bill, claiming it could lead to racial profiling due to the prevalence of caste in South Asian countries. They objected to the use of the term “caste” in the legislation.
  • Despite the committee’s approval, opponents have vowed to continue their fight against the bill and educate lawmakers on their perspective.
  • The bill’s sponsor, Senator Wahab, has faced threats and is the target of a recall campaign since introducing the legislation.
  • Caste discrimination is particularly associated with India, although caste systems exist in various countries. The bill addresses conflicts faced by immigrants from lower castes who encountered discrimination in both their home country and the United States.

The tweet below verifies the news:

Click on the following links for more news from the California Examiner:

Get ahead of the curve by accessing breaking news and insightful articles on – start exploring today!

Scroll to Top