What Are Civil Rights?
Every resident of the United States has certain rights and freedom. This includes freedom of speech, expression, assembly, religion, ownership of the procedural process, etc. Other freedoms are freedom from discrimination, such as race, social class, national origin, and others. All these encompass civil rights.
The Origin of Civil Rights
There are laws regulating civil rights at the state or federal level. These laws are as follows:
- Civil Rights Act of 1964
- This legislation prohibits discrimination based on sex, religion, color, race, education, voting, and public accommodations.
- Voting Rights Act of 1965
- Created to address the issues of not allowing minorities to vote and participate in elections in any form then, especially in the Deep South.
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- The law prohibits discrimination against disabled people when receiving federal financial assistance.
- Age Discrimination Act of 1975
- This law prohibits discrimination based on age in programs and activities, primarily in federal financial assistance. This also includes education, health care services, food stamps, rehabilitation programs, and others.
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- This is another law that prohibits discrimination based on age when applying for jobs over the age of 40 regarding compensation and advancement opportunities.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- The ADA prohibits discrimination based on disability in employment, public accommodations, commercial facilities, telecommunications, transportation, and state and local government.
- Fair Housing Act (FHA)
- FHA prohibits housing discrimination based on race, religion, familial status, disability, and color.
To apply for free, call (877) 735-0016
When Civil Rights are Violated
Not every violation qualifies as a civil rights violation. However, it can be called such when the offense occurs due to a threat of force against a victim by the offender based on the following:
- National origin
If you are assaulted, discriminated against, or didn’t receive federal assistance based on the categories above, it’s considered a violation of your civil rights. Thus, you can file a complaint. Therefore, the lawyer can prosecute the offender or have the offender pay compensation.
Common Examples of Civil Rights Violation
Civil rights violations come in many forms. Here are the typical situations of civil rights violations.
Discrimination based on disability
Others experience unfortunate situations in the workplace, more so those with a disability. Some employers refuse to hire, promote, or pay those with a disability even when they are capable of their jobs. Others also become the butt of the joke as their coworkers direct their derogatory jokes, gestures, or comments relating to one’s disability.
Federal laws protect you against this type of discrimination. You have the right to promotion. Your employer can’t also force you to disclose your disability when applying for a job. The employer can’t fire you or pay you less due to disability.
Discrimination based on racial identity
Ethnicity sometimes impacts people’s chances of owning, renting or selling a home. Or a landlord may not lease the apartment to you, an Asian American woman, as he has an all-white unspoken policy for the tenants in his apartment building. In this situation, the landlord has violated your rights.
Another form of housing discrimination is against a protected class from purchasing or owning a home. This may be discrimination against lending, mortgage, homeowners insurance, renting, or selling.
Based on the Fair Housing Act, you have the right to housing, owning, or selling a house regardless of race, color, sex, and familial status.
Sexual Harassment in the workplace
Sexual harassment falls under employment discrimination and violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. This includes unwelcome sexual favors, derogatory remarks against a person’s sex, and verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. All of these interfere with one’s work performance and creates a harsh/intimidating working environment.
Harassment may be from another co-worker, your supervisor, a supervisor from another team, or a non-employee such as a client or a customer.
Your Next Steps
It’s unfortunate if any of these situations happen to you. However, know that laws protect you and allow you to file complaints or claim compensation. You have the right to sue the offender and face the consequences of their violations.
File the complaints within 180 days of the date of the alleged act. Provide a good cause to extend the days. The complaint must be filed in writing via mail, fax, e-mail, or the OCR Complaint Portal. Include the name of the health care or the social service provider involved in the complaint.
You also need to include your name, address, telephone number, and names of the institution/department/person/company you believed discriminated against you. Additionally, describe the act of discrimination or explain the civil rights you believed were violated.
But what are your first steps?
The first thing is to seek guidance from a professional personal injury attorney. This is a legal procedure, so it’s only right to have a legal representative to help you along the process. Civil rights lawyers know the ins and outs of civil rights cases. Additionally, it’s their lawful pledge to fight for justice and equality for their clients.
Lawyers help submit every document on time and get you a favorable outcome. They also ensure that you receive the settlement you deserve.
Aside from that, the lawyer can advise you on the case, whether your case is favorable or not, and what to do moving forward.