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When to Hire a Civil Rights Attorney?

It's often difficult to know when someone has violated your civil rights. While you are likely familiar with the highly public accusations you see on the daily news, everyday violations aren't always that obvious. Discrimination can be blatant. It can also be so subtle, and it may take the victim by surprise. Once revealed, documenting a violation is often a challenge unless you know what evidence you need and where to find it.

That lack of evidence often prevents victims from presenting a successful discrimination claim. That's why it's important to work with an experienced civil rights attorney. These practitioners are well-trained in revealing critical evidence, analyzing the legal issues, and producing the best outcomes for their clients.

Defining Discrimination

Civil Rights laws delegitimize simple yet insidious patterns of discriminatory behavior. They occur when an entity treats you differently because of who or what you are. Race, disability, sex, age, sexual orientation, national origin, and other inherent traits often trigger discriminatory behavior.

Discriminatory acts occur in public and private locations. They often happen in situations and at events where institutions, communities, or employers set interaction and behavior standards. Examples include:

  • Workplace: Unfair hiring and promotions, unequal salaries
  • Housing: Inability to choose where you want to live, disqualification for financing, higher mortgage rates
  • Education: Differences in school quality, college acceptance rates, education funding, de facto segregation
  • Voting: Voter suppression, unfair challenges to registration and voting
  • Public: Accommodations: Inability to reserve or rent a hotel room or other accommodations that are open to the public

What Determines Your Civil Rights?

Americans haven't always had access to many of the rights they now take for granted. Many communities, industries, and legislators have fought against the civil rights gains granted to groups they see as "others." Notable examples of prominent civil rights issues in the past include:

  • Work environments systematically barred women with small children.
  • The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 prevented Chinese immigrants from entering the country.
  • Native Americans were non-citizens until 1924.
  • Aging workers had few protections before Congress passed the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
  • LGBTQ couples only recently gained the legal right to marry.

Since the Civil War, the United States has engaged in numerous legal and legislative battles to ensure civil rights for everyone. The Civil Rights Act of 1875 initially addressed discrimination issues until the US Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 reinstated a number of the original provisions. Other constitutional amendments, Presidential Executive Orders, and Supreme Court rulings also helped redefine and clarify important civil rights issues.

Laws and Courts Can't Eliminate Civil Rights Violations

Legislation and court rulings can change the laws, but they can't change institutionalized acts and practices. As with any law, discrimination non-compliance goes unpunished until someone detects and reports it. Non-disclosure agreements, salary confidentiality, unpublished workplace policies, and other agreements help minimize the chances of discovery.

If you believe that an employer, banker, or any other entity has discriminated against you, it's important to consult with an attorney. An experienced Civil Rights Lawyer understands complex issues involving evidence and legal proof. Civil Rights attorneys have worked with clients with a range of discrimination issues. They have advised clients how best to proceed.

Contact a Civil Rights Lawyer

The process for presenting a Civil Rights Claim is complicated and time-sensitive. If you believe that you're the victim of a discriminatory act, you must take action immediately. An experienced Civil Rights Lawyer in will provide the guidance you need.