State Civil Rights Offices
Civil rights laws protect us from unequal treatment, including discrimination in a number of settings. Knowing what civil rights laws are applicable to your situation is an important initial step to take in dealing with a potential civil rights violation. Many laws at the federal level prohibit discrimination and originate from federal legislation via acts such as the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (FHA) or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Federal civil rights protections also stem from federal court decisions, such as significant U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
In addition to federal laws, there are also local and state laws that prohibit discrimination. Many of the state laws mirror the federal law civil rights laws and offer the same protections, but state laws may be more extensive and often offer additional coverage not available at the federal level. For example, some state laws include protection for people who identify as LGBTQ. In cases where there is no federal recourse for a civil rights violation, you may be able to seek relief at the state level. When you have experienced a state civil rights violation, then you should investigate where to turn for guidance on civil rights enforcement.
Each state has its own division charged with protecting the civil rights of the state's residents. These commissions typically work to eliminate cases of discrimination by enforcing the state's civil rights laws. That can include discrimination in housing, employment, places of public accommodation, and more. Find the link to your state, to learn more about your division's work.
Protect Your Civil Rights
It is important to know not only know the civil rights protections available to you, but also how to address your specific issue by having access to state civil rights offices. If you have been discriminated against and need to know more about your possible claim, you should talk to a civil rights attorney who can help you protect your rights. An attorney can help you distinguish between your protection at the state and federal level.
Contact a qualified civil rights attorney to help you protect your rights.