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What Can You Do To Protect Your Civil Rights?

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Civil rights are those rights granted to you under the Constitution and subsequent amendments. These rights include the right to free speech, the right to pursue happiness, and so forth. In the court system today, however, civil rights are most commonly associated with the right to be treated equally, regardless of race, religion, nationality, sex, sexual preference, marital status, mental and physical ability, and so forth. It is important to understand how you can protect your civil rights.

First and foremost, it is important to understand just when and where your civil rights are protected. In most cases, for example, your neighbor doesn’t have to invite you over for dinner if he or she doesn’t like your religion. It is rare to be successful in a lawsuit of this nature, when only private parties are involved. However, if an employer refuses to hire you because he’d rather hire someone of another race, you have a potential case. The law protects your civil rights in all forms of the public sector. So, you may not be discriminated again in the workplace, in education, or in any other public arenas.

In order to sue, you must have been damaged in some way. This, however, does not necessarily mean that you must have suffered injury to your person. It may also mean that you’ve lost wages, had your reputation ruined, or were forced to pay more for items or services. If this is the case, you can sue to have money refunded to you.

However, in many civil rights cases, your only option is injunctive relief. Say, for example that the public bus driver that is supposed to stop in your neighborhood does not because he does not want to pick up someone of your race. You wait 10 minutes for the next bus to no harm, but it is an inconvenience. You’ll not be awarded any money because you have not suffered damages, but the court can stop the discriminatory behavior. Most civil rights cases end with injunctive relief.

There is such a thing as “lawful discrimination”. You should ensure that you understand these laws before you try to file suit. An example of lawful discrimination would be an insurance company offering lower rates to older drivers. It is not so much a matter of age as it is their driving experience. Unlawful discrimination only occurs when stereotypes or hatred play a role in the equality of the matter. In general, this includes discrimination due to race, ethnicity, religion, and, in most cases, sexual preferences and marital status.

If you feel like your civil rights were violated, your best option is to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. In most instances, lawsuits must be filed within 180 days of the violation, so delaying could mean that you no longer have a case. A lawyer can talk to you about your specific rights, past cases in your area, and advice with how to go about bring equality to your world.

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