Civil rights is a term used to refer to the human rights which are considered as established and protected by the U.S. Constitution. Civil rights generally refer to the right to live free from discrimination and/or unequal treatment on the basis of national origin, race, gender, age, and other similar characteristics. Unfortunately, some civil rights violations are more common than others. If you believe that you have experienced a civil rights violation, contact a civil rights attorney to discuss your options for protection and recovery.
Some of the most common types of civil rights violation cases include the following:
- Employment discrimination: Employers are not allowed to refuse to hire someone or to terminate someone’s employment on the basis of their ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, or other identifying characteristics such as those protected by law. Employers are required to offer the same opportunities for promotion, benefits, and pay to all employees regardless of identifying features.
- Housing discrimination: Housing discrimination can be particularly harmful and occurs when a family or an individual is denied housing on the basis of identifying characteristics such as those protected by civil rights law. While some aspects of an applicant’s history may make them ineligible for housing, a housing denial must be proven valid and cannot be motivated by wrongful discrimination.
- Law enforcement/justice system discrimination: From use of excessive force to obstructions of justice, minorities have traditionally experienced significant discrimination at the hands of law enforcement and the justice system. When someone is falsely arrested, convicted, or otherwise experiences a violation of their civil rights in the law enforcement/justice system process, this may constitute wrongful discrimination.
- Sexual assault and harassment: This is a commonly discussed issue in workplaces, although it can occur anywhere. From inappropriate comments to sexual assault, women have traditionally been the target of sexual assault and harassment based on their gender. However, sexual assault and harassment can occur to anyone for any reason. It is a violation of civil rights and prohibited by law.
- Voting discrimination: As long as a voter has a valid government ID and is over the age of 18, they cannot be denied their right to vote on the basis of any identifying information. To deny someone the right to vote, to pressure them in any way regarding voting, or to harass voters at the polls all constitute civil rights violations and are prohibited by law.
Wrongful discrimination may occur for a variety of reasons, including:
- Nation of origin
- Sexual orientation
If your civil rights have been violated, talk to an attorney.
Civil rights violations deal with a part of the law that can be particularly complicated: constitutional law. Constitutional law is vast, and the application of it can be extremely difficult for those without legal experience. If you or a loved one have suffered from a violation of your civil rights, it’s important to talk to a civil rights attorney about any existing protections for you and your family, as well as your options for recovery. In some cases you may be eligible to file a discrimination claim against the discriminating party in order to seek justice and correct the violation. If the violation occurred at work, you may need to contact an employment law attorney to seek corrective action.