It is important that we understand, recognize and fight for our civil rights because they protect our freedoms and protect us from discrimination, unequal treatment, or other violations of civil rights based on characteristics such as race, gender, religion, language, or status. If a civil rights violation is in regards to employment, education, housing, or access to public facilities, you can file a claim against the offender with the help of a civil rights lawyer from Strom Law Firm.
What Are Civil Rights?
Civil rights are basic rights that every citizen has under the laws of government. Civil rights safeguard individuals from discrimination based on protected characteristics, which include:
- Race or color color
- Sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation
- Immigration or citizenship status
- Language and national origin (including ancestry and ethnicity)
- Family, marital, or parental status (including pregnancy)
- Genetic identification
- Military member status
- Disability (including temporary or in recovery)
Where Do Civil Rights Come From?
Civil rights come from our inherent human rights, but they are not the same–for this reason, you should know the difference between a civil rights lawyer and a human rights lawyer if you have a claim to file. In contrast to human rights, which people acquire simply by being human, civil rights are granted and guaranteed by the state. That is why they vary over time, change with culture, or can be altered by governments, following trends in discrimination. For example, civil rights movements for the LGBTQIA+ community have only recently come into the spotlight.
Why Are Civil Rights Important?
Civil rights are important because they protect everyone. They ensure that each individual is protected from discrimination (unequal treatment) and that citizens enjoy “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” as promised in the Declaration of Independence. Thus, governments have an immense responsibility to maintain and protect civil rights.
How Do I Know if My Civil Rights Were Violated?
A civil rights violation occurs when an offender suppresses the granted liberties of an individual based on any of the protected characteristics. These usually involve misconduct by government officials, like law enforcement officers, etc.
Examples of Civil Rights Violations
Civil rights violations can come in different forms. Here are some of the most common examples:
- Being fired, demoted, given less compensation, or assigned more tasks due to sex or race
- Being retaliated against for reporting discrimination in the workplace
- Being denied housing, a permit, or a loan due to sex, ethnicity, or disability
- Being denied admission to an education institution due to a language barrier
- Being segregated in an educational program or activity based on gender
- Police brutality
- Police searches and arrests under false pretenses
- Hate crimes
- Human trafficking
What Do I Do if My Civil Rights Were Violated?
The first step to resolving a civil rights violation is to determine if a protected right was suppressed or abused in the first place. Once you have confirmed this, you have three options:
Not every civil rights violation requires a lengthy judicial process. You can settle the case privately with the help of a civil rights lawyer without having to go to court. This typically happens in cases of workplace discrimination.
Government Agency Claim
For most civil rights violations, you can file a claim to a federal or state government agency. When you do this, an investigation will ensure your claim is validated, and the agency will act on your behalf to resolve the issue.
Civil Court Lawsuit
You may also have the option to file a personal lawsuit in civil court; however, in some cases, you must file a claim with a government agency before doing so. With the help of a civil rights lawyer from Strom Law Firm, you can draft and file a complaint indicating a civil rights violation, as well as a request for remedies.
Hire a Civil Rights Attorney to Help You
If you believe you have been a victim of a civil rights violation, you can seek help from an experienced and adept civil rights attorney from Strom Law Firm to help you uphold and fight for your granted freedoms.