Under both state and federal law, including the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, U.S. citizens are entitled to political and social freedom and equality. Such civil rights protections guarantee individuals equal treatment without regard to their race, sex, religion, or other protected characteristics. When an employer or government official violates an individual’s civil rights, the victim may seek compensation for harm they suffered as a result.
Individuals have the right to receive fair and equal treatment under the law. Various federal and state laws protect individuals from discrimination and harassment based on protected characteristics. Some of these civil rights laws include the following:
Bill of Rights
The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, also known as the Bill of Rights, are designed to protect citizens from the overreach of government power. It establishes basic civil liberties, such as the right to free speech, the freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, and the protection from cruel and unusual punishment.
The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments also guarantee civil rights and liberties. The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees equal protection of the laws, and the Fifteenth Amendment establishes the right to vote regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
This federal legislation prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It applies in various settings, such as the workplace, schools, and places of public accommodations.
California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
This state law protects employees and applicants from harassment or discrimination based on age, ancestry, color, creed, disability, marital status, medical condition, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. Under FEHA, it is illegal for employers with five or more employees to discriminate against applicants or employees because of a protected category, or to retaliate against them for asserting their rights.
A Bane Act lawsuit may be filed against individuals, corporations, and government actors for interfering with someone’s legal rights. Acts forbidden under the law include threats of violence, actual violence, intimidation, or coercion.
Unruh Civil Rights Act
This California statute prohibits business establishments from arbitrarily or intentionally discriminating against individuals based on protected characteristics. California businesses must provide full and equal accommodations, advantages, privileges, and services to everyone.
Under this California law, individuals are entitled to be free from violence and intimidation based on protected characteristics. Victims of hate crimes in California may be able to bring suit under this law to collect compensatory and punitive damages, in addition to a $25,000 civil penalty against the perpetrator.
Color of Law Violations
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports that the most common civil rights complaints pertain to color of law violations and racial violence. Under federal law, persons acting under the color of the law, including federal, state, and local officials, may not abuse their authority by willfully depriving a person of a legally protected right or privilege. The law encompasses acts done within the agent’s lawful authority, and acts done outside that legal authority while the agent was pretending to act in accordance with their official duties.
Types of color of law violation cases our legal team handles include:
- Deprivation of due process
- Deprivation of necessary medical care to prisoners
- Equal Protection Clause violations
- Excessive force
- False arrest
- Police misconduct
- Racial profiling
- Sexual assault
- Unwarranted search and seizure
- Wrongful convictions
Los Angeles Civil Rights Attorneys at Abir Cohen Treyzon Salo, LLP Fight for Victims of Civil Rights Violations
If your civil rights were violated, contact an Los Angeles civil rights attorney at Abir Cohen Treyzon Salo, LLP. Our skilled attorneys can explain your legal options and help you receive the justice and compensation to which you are entitled. We serve clients throughout California from our offices in Los Angeles and San Diego. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 833-ACTS-LAW.opens phone dialer