These are rights that individuals have under state and federal law that protect them from being discriminated against for reasons of race, religion and/or gender.
What are some examples of civil rights violations?
Some common civil rights violations include:
- getting hired or terminated because of your race, religion and/or gender
- resisting unwanted sexual advances and enduring the retribution that may come in the form of job termination
- being terminated from a job for refusing to do something illegal
What state or federal agencies exist that can help me with a civil rights complaint?
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can assist you should you need to file such a grievance.
Can I pursue a claim in court if I have already filed a civil rights complaint?
After you initiate a complaint with the TWC, the EEOC or with the company in question, an attorney can guide the process through the preliminary investigation, which is a crucial element in this type of claim.
You should retain an attorney as soon as possible to help guide you through this process even if you are already working with the TWC or EEOC. This is because a claim, if not handled properly from the very beginning, can falter and die. Furthermore, an attorney can also file a lawsuit if the matter is not resolved within a state or federal agency or within the company itself.
How can a lawyer help in a civil rights complaint?
Say you are terminated from your employment because of your race, religion and/or gender. The TWC will investigate your employment claim to see if you qualify for unemployment insurance. Later on, an attorney can work with the EEOC in order to provide for any damages to which you are entitled as a result of that termination.
When should I consult with an attorney regarding civil rights violations?
If you think you may be terminated or officially have been terminated, speak with an attorney immediately, as acting in a timely manner will help bring about the best possible outcome.
To what kind of damages might I be entitled in a civil rights suit?
Damages can be in the form of a court order asking for your reinstatement at the job from which you were terminated. The damages can also come in financial form and be what is known as exemplary.
What are “exemplary damages”?
Exemplary damages can take the form of anything from a penalty that the jury or the court assesses for people acting with intentional misconduct.
What information should I provide in a civil rights complaint?
In any civil rights complaint, be prepared to provide the following details:
- the nature of the discrimination you are experiencing or have experienced
- the nature of the circumstances surrounding the situation
- how long you have been employed and whether or not you are contracted
- the nature of the employment agreement in place
- whether or not you are aware of anything similar happening with other employees
- any history of employee misconduct (if known)
If you feel your civil rights have been violated and would like legal consultation, contact The Barrera Law Firm at (956) 428-2822.