Your civil rights are the rights that grant you political and social equality with others. You do not have to be a United States citizen to have civil rights – these rights are shared by all people currently in the country.
When one or more of your civil rights are violated, you can suffer financial, emotional, and physical damages. If this happens, you have the right to pursue compensation for these damages and justice for yourself by taking action against the party that committed the violation. The right legal action to take after a violation depends on the type of violation that occurred. For example, issues related to workplace misconduct are handled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and when a police officer violates an individual’s rights, the individual can file a police misconduct claim.
It is important that you know your civil rights in all situations. These include, but are not limited to:
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution grants individuals the right to free speech, which means that the government cannot prohibit an individual from openly expressing him- or herself in most situations. The First Amendment also prohibits the federal government from establishing a state religion or prohibiting individuals from practicing their religions and expressing their religious beliefs.
Although officers may use force to restrain individuals under arrest, they cannot use excessive force. Excessive force is defined as physical force that goes beyond what is necessary to restrain the individual, which depends on the details of the situation. For example, using a taser on a peaceful demonstrator may be deemed to be excessive force, whereas using the taser on a violent individual believed to be a hazard to others generally would not be.
Other civil rights regarding police interactions include the right to refuse to comply with a search if the officer does not have a valid search warrant, the right to refuse to answer an officer’s questions, and the right to seek legal counsel before interacting with police.
Discrimination is the unfair treatment of an individual based on his or her race, sex, religion, ethnicity,
national origin, or disability. In the workplace, this means employers cannot overlook an individual for employment or promotion based on one of these factors, nor can they terminate or segregate employees based on them.
The Fair Housing Act also makes it illegal for landlords, realtors, and mortgage lenders to discriminate against prospective buyers, borrowers, and tenants based on these factors.
Protect your civil rights by working with an experienced civil rights attorney to take action after a violation. To learn more and start developing your case, contact our team at Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC today to schedule your initial consultation with us.
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When I first contacted Helen Robinson, I felt hopeless and beaten down by my situation. With few resources, I was still desperate to right the wrong that was done to me. From our very first consultation, Helen was empathetic, knowledgeable, and transparent. She placed the power back into my hands.…
Marshall Forman & Schlein was a wonderful firm to work with. From the very first zoom conversation, I felt heard, validated, and justified. John and Sam know employment discrimination law very well and helped guide me through the process. Every step of the way, I had their support. It was…
I must say that this Law Firm was very responsive, informative and very concerned about my situation. Thank you for being so compassionate (Attorney Robinson).
The staff at this firm are incredibly kind! They also got back to me very quickly which I appreciated! Helen Robinson was absolutely wonderful and incredibly professional! She was clear and concise and answered every question I had with honesty. She made sure to explain everything in a way I…
My partner and I had worked together at a company that caused us many problems. Helen was very insightful and offered a solution to our unique problem. Everything went smoothly with Helen guiding us and the situation and we are beyond pleased with the results. We highly recommend her!
I got fantastic help from Maddie Rettig. I wish I could explain how great she was.
The staff at this firm are incredible. They want to know your story but, more than that, they want to know you. They get to know your heart and spirit so that they can serve you personally and effectively. My experience was refreshing and I felt cared for. Their work…
Would highly recommend Maddie Rettig! Very knowledgeable of all laws and regulations. She kept me informed every step of the way and was very transparent about what was going on. Very pleased customer and would refer anyone I know who needs legal counsel to Maddie!
John Marshall is a very skilled and competent attorney. I am very thankful for his professionalism, knowledge and guidance in dealing with a very difficult situation. John Marshall is someone I would highly recommend for any employment and civil rights needs.
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