How to Recognize a Civil Rights Violation

By: Gregg Zeff
On: November 1, 2023

Civil Rights Violation

What Would Be Considered A Civil Rights Violation?

All citizens in the United States are entitled to their civil rights, which guarantee access to equal social opportunities and equal protection under the law regardless of gender, sex, race, skin color, age, disability, religion, and country of origin. With that, individuals have a right to due process, the right to assemble and petition, and the right to be in a protected group without discrimination. However, a citizen’s civil rights can be violated if another individual or organization discriminates against them because of their personal identity. This also includes restricting or preventing an individual’s capacity to exercise a guaranteed right, which include the right to life, liberty, and prosperity. A civil rights violation can occur in a variety of instances, including employment, education, housing, police encounters, prisons, municipal government overreach, licenses, zoning, and more.

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What Are Some Examples Of A Civil Rights Violation?

There are several laws that work to protect the fundamental human rights of citizens. However, this doesn’t mean that violations of civil rights don’t take place. There are several examples of what a civil rights violation might look like. This includes:

  • Use of excessive force by police
  • Wrongful termination, denial of employment or promotion due to personal identity
  • Denying housing to an individual because of personal identity
  • Efforts that impede your right to peacefully protest

With that, an individual’s rights could have been violated if they are excluded or dismissed at work for reasons that involve being part of a protected group or if their basic rights guaranteed by the constitution are restricted.

What Is A Color of Law Violation?

When a state, federal, or local official carries out an act that’s within the scope of their lawful authority then they are operating “under the color of law.” However, if a government agent’s willingness or ignorant actions contradict their legal authority then this is considered a Color of Law violation. For instance, when a government agent denies any person, regardless of race, creed, or religion, of their civil rights while functioning under their government appointed powers, they have committed a federal offense. Depending on the circumstances, the government agent who commits this offense can be severely punished.
Civil Rights Violation

What Laws Protect Citizens From Civil Rights Violations?

Understanding your rights and the laws that work to protect you from civil rights violations is an important step when determining if your civil rights have been violated. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Specifically, it prohibits discrimination in the hiring, promoting, and firing of employees, and discrimination in public accommodations and federally funded programs. In addition, there are other laws that work to protect citizens who are part of specific groups. This includes Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Equal Pay Act, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

What Can The Legal System Do For A Civil Rights Violation?

If a citizen’s civil rights are violated, they can take action to ensure they are protected legally. This includes reaching out to a civil rights attorney who will help file a civil claim. Civil rights attorneys handle a variety of cases, including violation of First Amendment rights, government corruption, Due Process Violations (failures to follow appropriate rules and procedures), and Equal Protection Under Law (treated victims differently). Defying an individual’s rights could potentially lead to civil litigation and can even impact criminal investigations. In addition, prosecutors can take things a step further by pressing charges when a civil rights violation occurs.

Discuss Evidence Of A Civil Rights Violations With The Lawyers At Zeff Law Firm

Zeff Law Firm’s civil rights lawyers with offices in Mount Laurel, New Jersey and Philadelphia work to protect your personal freedoms. Our team represents employees, executives, professors and teachers, members of law enforcement, and the victims of discrimination and civil rights violations. In addition, our lawyers not only have extensive knowledge of federal and state civil rights law, they also have immense experience and the tenacity to fight for your rights and defend your freedoms. Contact the Zeff Law Firm to learn more about your rights!

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