In the United States, we have laws in place that are meant to protect the civil rights of individuals from discrimination. These civil rights laws are also in place to guarantee certain privileges for everyone. As a Washington D.C. civil rights litigation lawyer can explain, these privileges include:
These laws mean that no government organization, no private individual, and no social organizations can infringe upon a person’s freedom, repress that person, or discriminate against them.
At Eric Siegal Law, we have spent more than 30 years passionately fighting for the civil rights of all individuals. Each Washington D.C. civil rights litigation lawyer from our firm has extensive experience in civil rights violation cases involving:
Under both federal and state law, it is illegal for a company to discriminate against an employee or potential employee based on age, ethnicity, gender, race, or any other reason. Some of the common issues of employment discrimination our clients have faced include:
Some of the common issues of sexual harassment our clients have faced include:
If you feel you have been a victim of employment discrimination or sexual harassment, a civil rights litigation lawyer in Washington D.C. from our firm can help. In these types of cases, your attorney can pursue multiple damages, including unpaid wages and benefits, the loss of future wages and benefits, emotional anguish, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and more.
The legal team at our firm has also represented many clients whose civil rights were violated by law enforcement. Unfortunately, there are some police officers who fail to follow the standards of action and behavior that federal and state laws require them to. Some of the more egregious behaviors that some of our clients have suffered include:
As an American with an intellectual or developmental disability, your rights are protected by law. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean that people follow that law. You have likely had frustrating encounters with people or experienced outright discrimination based on your disability. When you’ve faced these situations, what do you do? While it might be uncomfortable, Eric Siegell Law believes it is well within your rights for you to advocate for yourself and get the necessary accommodations that you deserve. When you advocate for yourself, you keep others in the future from facing that same frustration. Here are three tips for advocating for your rights on the job.
1. Know Your Rights
You might feel that the way you’re being treated at work isn’t right, but if you don’t know what your rights are, it’s difficult to identify the problem. A civil rights litigation lawyer in Washington, D.C. may be able to help you understand if your rights are being violated in the workplace. As an individual with a disability, you have the right to request and receive reasonable accommodations in order to do your job. Some examples include accessible parking, modified training and feedback materials, a flexible schedule, or reorganization of the job (ex. you are provided a checklist of tasks to complete during each shift).
2. Communicate Clearly
Once you know your rights, it’s important to communicate clearly with your employer about the things that you need. For example, you need a larger screen on a computer terminal to see the software, or you have a medical condition that requires you to take 15-minute breaks every three hours. Talk with your manager about your needs. It is helpful to make your request in writing. A job coach, a friend, or a coworker may be able to help you make your request. If you are being ignored by your employer, a civil rights litigation lawyer in Washington, D.C. can help you determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit.
3. Ask for Help
Eric Siegell Law believes that every individual’s voice is important. Many Americans with disabilities face workplace discrimination on a daily basis but not everyone knows how to help themselves. By consulting with a civil rights litigation lawyer in Washington, D.C., you can become educated about your rights and get help communicating those rights to your employer. When you ask for help, not only are you making your workplace better for you, but you’re making it better for other individuals with disabilities who deserve a better working environment, too.
The employment provisions of the ADA only apply to state and local governments, labor unions, joint management labor committees, employment agencies, agents of the employer and private employers with 15 or more employees. If you are unsure whether the ADA applies to an employer you believe may be in violation of the act, an attorney at Eric Siegal Law can review your case.
Employees and applicants for employment who have disabilities can not be discriminated against by employers or potential employers. A person who has a mental or physical impairment that substantially impacts major life activities is considered to have a disability. The Act also protects people against discrimination if they have a record of disability, such as a person who has recovered from cancer or a person that the employer thinks has a disability, whether that person does or not.
Examples of major life activities include performing manual tasks, hearing, sleeping, seeing, walking, eating, standing, thinking, communicating and others. Examples of impairments that are usually considered disabilities include blindness, missing limbs, intellectual disability, deafness, cancer, diabetes, major depressive disorder, autism and others. If you are unsure whether you qualify for protection under the ADA, a civil rights litigation lawyer in Washington, D.C. may be able to assist you.
The ADA prohibits discrimination, but it does not require employers to hire people with disabilities if there is a reason other than the applicant’s disability to choose another candidate. If you believe you have been illegally denied employment because of your disability, a civil rights litigation lawyer in Washington, D.C. may be able to help.
Employers may ask about disabilities if federal laws or regulations require it, such as laws that apply to veterans with disabilities. Employers may also ask applicants to disclose disabilities if they are asking for the purpose of using this disclosure to benefit the applicant. If you have a concern about disclosing your disability to a potential employer, an attorney at Eric Siegal Law may be able to assist you.
Federal contractors and subcontractors who are subject to affirmative action requirements can ask applicants to disclose disabilities for the purpose of satisfying affirmative action requirements. However, they must adhere to the requirements of section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 when requesting, using and maintaining this information. If you have a concern about how an employer has collected, used or maintained your personal information, you may want to consult with a civil rights litigation lawyer in Washington, D.C.
Assault is one thing. However, assault of someone because of race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender or disability is considered a civil rights violation under federal law. This makes such a crime more serious, leaving the offender open to harsher penalties. It also means that the offender can be sued, which is when the services of a civil rights litigation lawyer in Washington, D.C., can be of great value.
The federal Civil Rights Act of 1968 included a provision, outlined under 18 U.S.C. § 245(b)(2), which allowing the federal government to prosecute any person who uses violence or the threat of violence against a person of color while the individual is attempting to engage in one or more of the following:
Since that time, hate crime legislation has been expanded to protect LGBTQ persons, the disabled and religious minorities.
Although they are not classified as a hate crime (unless the victim is a member of a protected minority group), sexual assault and harassment are reasons to contact a civil rights litigation lawyer in Washington, D.C. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is illegal to harass a person in the workplace because of gender or gender-related issues such as pregnancy. Furthermore, it is illegal to terminate a person’s employment or refuse to hire someone because of those issues. This can be a reason to consult a civil rights litigation lawyer in Washington, D.C.
Although a hate crime is considered a criminal matter, a growing number of attorneys have been using civil litigation as a tool to hold perpetrators and hate groups accountable. A 2004 paper published in the North Carolina Law Review outlines several legal strategies that can be employed in a civil lawsuit. For example, John leads an anti-immigrant group. He may say that he doesn’t advocate violence against immigrants, but at the same time stirs up hatred with his words and advocates others to “arm themselves” against the “immigrant threat.”
Thus motivated, Charlie and Bill go out and assault Pedro, a new U.S. citizen who immigrated from Ecuador. John may not have given Charlie and Bill direct orders or participated in the assault, but by having inflamed the situation, he bears civil liability — and possibly his group as well. In this situation, Pedro would benefit from hiring a civil rights litigation lawyer in Washington, D.C.
If you have been a victim of a civil rights violation, no matter who the party that committed the violation was, contact Eric Siegal Law to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a civil rights litigation lawyer Washington D.C. victims trust and find out what legal recourse you may have.