Civil Rights Complaints Overview

When an individual feels that his or her civil rights have been violated, they have the option of seeking legal action in order to find justice.  There are many different kinds of civil rights violations, and it can often be difficult to tell whether a law has been broken or not.  It’s important for individuals to know their rights and the legal actions they can take if their rights are violated.

Criminal Civil Violations

A criminal violation typically involves some sort of physical violence or threat.  Examples of criminal violations might include:

  • Hitting
  • Beating
  • Threats of death.
  • Threats with a weapon.
  • Property vandalism.
  • Threats against family.

Employment Discrimination

It is against the law for employers or potential employers to make decisions based on race, gender, sexual orientation or religious preferences.  Examples of employment discrimination include:

  • Firing an individual on the basis of any of these things.
  • Unnecessarily punishing an individual for the same reasons.
  • Showing favoritism to other employees because of one employee’s lifestyle, heritage or background.

Public Accommodations Discrimination

If an individual is refused service based on his or her race, nationality, sexual orientation or gender, it is considered public accommodation discrimination.  This might include any public place, including but not limited to:

  • Restaurants
  • Lounges
  • Hotels
  • Amusement parks
  • Etc.

Civil Rights Legal Help

When an individual’s civil rights have been violated, they have the option of seeking legal recourse.

A. Filing a Complaint

In some situations, a complaint must be filed before an individual pursues a lawsuit against the party that violated their civil rights. For instance, for employment discrimination, civil rights complaints should be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  The individual will receive a response letting them know whether it’s permissible to sue or not.

B. Hiring an Attorney

It’s important to hire a Civil Rights Attorney to seek justice for civil rights violations.  Attorneys are experienced with the law and know how to get the justice an individual deserves.  Many attorneys work on a contingency basis, so even individuals who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford an attorney can hire one in order to get civil rights legal help.

C. Filing the Lawsuit

If the attorney and the client agree that the rights have been violated, a lawsuit may be filed.  Proof must be shown that the defendants have violated the individual’s civil rights and how they were violated.


Civil rights are important, and individuals should be aware of what their civil rights are.  By knowing the most commonly broken of civil rights laws and the proper recourses, individuals can protect themselves against civil rights violations.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice or representation,
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