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What Is Considered A Civil Rights Violation?

A set of rights that protect individuals’ freedom from infringement

What Is Considered A Civil Rights Violation?

The Civil Rights Movement that began in 1940 brought about many changes in American society and laws. President Harry Truman made history by ending segregation in 1948 in the Armed Forces. 

In 1957, the Civil Rights Act was signed by President Dwight Eisenhower, marking the government’s commitment to protecting the civil rights of all Americans. The Act empowered the Justice Department and federal officials to prosecute anyone who conspired to deny another citizen’s right to vote. 

Further steps were taken in 1964 when Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which President Lyndon Johnson signed. This Act prohibited the discrimination on the basis of religion, national origin, gender, color, and race. It ended segregation in public places, schools, and public facilities. Employment discrimination was also made illegal.

There are still civil rights infringements taking place today in our country. As Americans, we must all know our civil rights and stand up to protect ourselves. Knowing our civil rights will empower us to know when our civil rights are violated. There is a wide range of examples of what we consider a violation of our civil rights. In this article, we’ve highlighted the most common ones.

Employment

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made employment discrimination illegal based their color, race, religion, national origin, or gender. This Act (under Title VII) also applies today to the employment discrimination of LGBTs based on sexual orientation. 

Other Acts were passed later concerning discrimination:

  • Age Discrimination Act of 1975 – Amendment applied to the Older Americans Act of 1965 to include the prohibition of discrimination based on age.
  • The pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 prohibits employment discrimination against female employees who intend to become or are pregnant. Includes wrongful termination or failure for promotion.
  • Disabilities Act of 1990 – Discrimination on the basis of a disability becomes prohibited.

Your civil rights are being violated if you’re faced with a negative outcome based on your gender or sexual identity. The VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects all US citizens against gender or sexual orientation employment discrimination. The Act also prohibits discrimination at work based on sex-based stereotypes. For example, discrimination based on transgender status or a female wearing masculine clothes.

Employment discrimination does just include not getting hired because of your characteristics. Other examples of adverse outcomes based on discrimination also include, but aren’t limited to: 

  • Being passed for a promotion, raise, or training. 
  • Getting paid lower wages than coworkers. 
  • Getting assigned fewer responsibilities.
  • Getting assigned more responsibilities or transferring of duties.
  • Having to endure inappropriate comments.
  • Being demoted.
  • Getting fired.

Housing

If you’re a person of color and apply for a lease agreement and the landlord denies your application based on your race, your civil rights have been violated. This is specific discrimination against a protected class of individuals. Housing discrimination includes selling, renting, lending, and homeowners insurance. The law prohibits discrimination based on color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, spousal affiliation, physical handicap, or mental disability.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a severe form of civil rights violation. Sexual harassment applies to same-sex and opposite-sex harassment and can be verbal or physical. Examples based on sexual harassment discrimination also include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Requests to give sexual favors.
  • Receiving unwelcome sexual advances.
  • Getting offensive remarks about your sexual orientation or gender.

If you’re experiencing sexual harassment at work, you may also encounter adverse outcomes which could include, but aren’t limited to:

  • When your performance at work is adversely affected.
  • When you experience hostility or intimidation.
  • Being passed for a promotion, raise, or training. 
  • Getting paid lower wages than coworkers. 
  • Getting assigned fewer responsibilities.
  • Getting assigned more responsibilities or transferring of duties.
  • Having to endure inappropriate comments.
  • Being demoted.
  • Getting fired.

Services

If you’re refused a service based on your race, age, disability, sexual orientation, race, gender, or any other characteristic, your civil rights have been violated. 

Excessive Force

When excessive force is used during the arrest of an individual, their civil rights have been infringed. In some instances, police officers must use force to contain and subdue specific individuals during an arrest. However, there are too many instances where police officers have been accused of going beyond what is required and using too much force where it’s not required. 

Sources:

https://www.archives.gov/milestone-documents/executive-order-9981#:~:text=On%20July%2026%2C%201948%2C%20President,segregation%20in%20the%20Armed%20Forces.

https://crdl.usg.edu/events/civil_rights_act_1957/?Welcome

https://www.archives.gov/milestone-documents/civil-rights-act#:~:text=This%20act%2C%20signed%20into%20law,civil%20rights%20legislation%20since%20Reconstruction.

https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/civil-rights-act/legal-events-timeline.html

https://welchlawfirm.com/the-7-most-common-types-of-civil-rights-violations/

https://parnalladams.com/what-is-considered-a-civil-rights-violation/

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