Civil Rights: the Basics
Civil rights protect individuals from being treated differently. Britannica.com defines them as the “guarantees of equal social opportunities and equal protection under the law, regardless of race, religion, or other personal characteristics.” The following are some examples of civil rights: “the right to vote, the right to a fair trial, the right to government services, the right to a public education, and the right to use public facilities.”
Protection of Civil Rights
The following federal laws were created to defend people’s civil rights:
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 defends individuals from discrimination founded on color, race, national origin, sex, or religion in public accommodations, education, government facilities, voting, federally assisted programs, and employment.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 defends individuals from racial discrimination in voting.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) defends job candidates and current workers who are 40 or more years old from unequal treatment at the workplace with regard to salary, promotions, and other related.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects people with disabilities in programs and activities benefited by federal funds.
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) forbids unequal treatment in housing based on color, race, national origin, sex, religion, disability, and familial status.
The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 forbids unequal treatment based on age in activities and programs benefited by federal funds, like health care services, housing, educational programs, among other related.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in employment, state and local governments, private entities, commercial facilities, telecommunications, and transportation.
Infringement of Civil Rights Examples
Civil rights protect individuals from discrimination based on personal traits. There are situations where these guarantees may be infringed, like the following:
- A tenant application is denied only because they have children.
- Someone rejects a job applicant because the latter is pregnant.
- A woman earns less than her male colleagues for the same job.
- The police stop a car based solely on the ethnicity of the person behind the wheel.
- A restaurant denies service to someone because of their national origin.
- A coffee shop that doesn’t have a wheelchair-friendly entrance.
If you believe you are a victim of civil rights infringements, it is important to get in touch with an experienced attorney who may advise you about what course of action you should take, explain the whole legal process required, obtain a favorable outcome, and find justice.
More on Civil Rights:
- Most Common Civil Rights Violations
- Police Brutality and Section 1983 Civil Rights Lawsuits
- The Hurdle of Qualified Immunity in Civil Rights Lawsuits
- Pursuing Legal Action for Jail Abuse and Civil Rights
- The Benefit of Knowing Your Civil Rights
- What is a Plea Agreement?
- About Civil Rights
- Understanding Police Misconduct and Civil Rights Violations
- How to Pick a Civil Rights Lawyer for Police Misconduct Cases
Haddad & Sherwin LLP has a long, successful track record winning wrongful death and other serious civil rights claims for police and jail officer misconduct, throughout Northern and Central California. Call or email us for a free consultation.