Civil Rights Law

Under the U.S. Constitution and civil rights laws, you are granted fundamental personal rights and constitutional liberties, such as the following:

  • Right to equal protection under the law
  • Right to due process
  • Right against unreasonable search and seizure
  • Right to seek housing and shelter
  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of assembly
  • Freedom of protest
  • Freedom of religion

These civil rights protect you from unfair treatment and discrimination in various settings, such as educational institutions, places of employment, housing, banking institutions, and public accommodations like hotels and restaurants.

A civil rights violation may occur if a person has these granted rights and liberties taken away from them. It can also happen if the person is discriminated against based on protected classes such as race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, marital status, physical and mental disability, and sexual orientation.

Fortunately, various civil rights laws exist to protect your rights and liberties. One excellent example is the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the landmark civil rights and labor law enacted to end discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender sex, national origin, and later on including sexual orientation.

To protect yourself and your fundamental civil rights, it pays to look at and understand various situations that may be considered civil rights violations.

Common Violations of Civil Rights Law

Discrimination at Work

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on a person’s race, color, religion, gender, and national origin. It enumerates certain discriminatory practices that can be penalized, such as:

  • Harassment
  • Employment decisions based on stereotypes and prejudices
  • Denial of employment opportunities

So, if you have been fired, denied an employment opportunity, passed over for a raise or promotion, or received an unfair share of the workload compared to your coworkers because of the factors mentioned, consider speaking with a civil rights attorney. Getting expert legal advice can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Discrimination at School

Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 addresses equal protection violations in public schools and higher education institutions such as public colleges and universities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, and religion.

There’s also Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 that prohibits discrimination based on gender when it comes to athletics, course offerings, student health insurance benefits, financial assistance, and employment.

If you have received harsher treatment, unfair grading policies, or unequal opportunities due to the factors listed, your case may be considered a valid discrimination claim.

Discrimination in Places of Public Accommodation

According to Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, you have the right to “full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any public accommodation.”

This means that whether you are in a hotel, restaurant, movie theater, sports stadium, you cannot be treated differently because of your race, color, religion, or national origin. So if you are denied access to hotel amenities, denied entry to a bar, or mistreated based on these protected classes, consider enlisting legal assistance from a civil rights attorney.

Police Brutality and Discriminatory Conduct

The police are permitted to arrest people, perform searches, or take properties as evidence. However, they have to follow strict guidelines under the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. They are also entitled to use force to subdue a suspect only if the latter resists arrest or attempts to use a weapon.

As such, these situations can be considered civil rights law violations:

  • Skipping verbal communication and proceeding to use physical force
  • Using physical force resulting in unnecessary injuries
  • Using physical force on a restrained individual
  • Using physical force on a cooperative, non-violent, and unarmed individual
  • Unjustified police shootings

There’s also Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the OJP Program Statute prohibiting practices of discriminatory conduct such as:

  • Use of racial slurs
  • Discriminatory arrests and traffic stops
  • Discriminatory use of force
  • Retaliation for filing a complaint
  • Refusal to respond to complaints regarding discriminatory conduct by its officers

Housing Discrimination

The Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords, real estate companies, and other direct housing providers from discriminating against individuals based on their race, color, religion, gender, national origin, familial status, or disability. This includes any unfair treatment regarding renting, selling, mortgages, and home insurance.

Here are some situations that can be considered a violation of this civil rights law:

  • Harassing a tenant who falls under any of the protected classes
  • Not accommodating a disabled resident appropriately
  • Changing mortgage terms because of an individual’s familial status
  • Discriminatory steering

Discrimination Against Persons with Disability

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits prejudicial treatment against people with disabilities. It covers various areas like employment opportunities, access to state and local government services, public accommodations, telecommunications, and transportation.

Here are some common ADA accommodation violations you may file a claim for:

  • Not hiring or firing a qualified worker because of his disability
  • Failing to install or maintain a wheelchair ramp in public places
  • Failing to install parking spots for persons with disabilities
  • Access to fewer employee benefits
  • Intentional exclusion

If you feel that you have a civil rights legal issue do not hesitate to call us. We have experienced attorney’s on standby to look at your case. Contact us for a free case review.

What To Do if Your Civil Rights Are Being Violated

If any of the situations mentioned above resonate with you, consider seeking help from a civil rights attorney. Civil rights law can be complex, but our experienced litigators at Potts Law will guide you every step of the way to represent your case and ensure that you obtain the best possible outcome for your case.

Civil Rights Act – A federal law enacted to enforce and protect basic personal rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution; prohibits discrimination based on race, color, age, or religion. This law guarantee equal treatment and prohibits discrimination of individuals in many different settings. These include employment, education, housing, voting, and more.


If you are unsure if you have a case, don’t hesitate to call us today for a free consultation. Our team of experienced attorneys are ready to review your claim and fight for you.

Frequently asked questions

  • Q:Should I hire an attorney?


    If you feel that your civil rights have been violated speak to one of our knowledgeable attorneys. They will let you know if you have a case and how you can proceed.

  • Q:Will I have to pay someone to look at my case?


    We have attorneys that will look over your case for free.

  • Q:What kind of discrimination can I sue for?


    • Age Discrimination
    • Gender Discrimination
    • Race Discrimination
    • Religious Discrimination
    • Pregnancy Discrimination

  • Q:What is Civil Rights Law?


    The Civil Rights Act is a federal law enacted to enforce and protect basic personal rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution; prohibits discrimination based on race, color, age, or religion. This federal law is there to protect those rights.


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