Illinois Civil Rights Litigation
Both the State of Illinois and the federal government have protections in place to make sure you are treated justly. Unfortunately, individuals, businesses and even government officials do not always follow the laws when it comes to the civil rights of you, your family or your friends. Some of the most common civil rights violations include:
- Discrimination based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation;
- Freedom of speech;
- Free exercise of religion;
- Voting rights;
- Police brutality or excessive use of force; or
- Equal protection under the 14th Amendment;
Discrimination may show itself in many ways, but discrimination against someone based on a protected status may be a violation of the law. This does not only apply to employment, hiring, firing and treatment on the job; many other kinds of discrimination are also illegal. Discrimination in schools and education may be civil rights violations. There are state and federal laws that also protect people against discrimination in finding housing or getting a loan.
Based on separate but overlapping civil rights protections at the federal and state level, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Illinois Human Rights Act, protected classes include those based on race; color; religion; age; sex; national origin; disability; gender status; and sexual orientation.
Increasingly, people who practice certain religions are facing regular discrimination in this country. Illinois is home to some of the largest populations of Muslims in the United States, yet they still face discrimination on a daily basis. Muslim men and women have the right to practice their religion, be treated equally in school or the workplace, and be free from harassment simply because they have a different religion than someone else.
Police Officer Civil Rights Violations
While many police officers may be respecting the civil rights of the people they encounter, there are a number of police and law enforcement officers who act like they are above the law. There have been a number of high-profile cases in the national spotlight lately which raise the concerns of excessive use of force, and unjustified violence by police officers.
Civil rights violations could include ignoring your right against unlawful search or seizure, unlawful arrest, or wrongful convictions. If the police or other government official oversteps their bounds, they should be held accountable for their civil rights violations.
Justice and Damages
An individual who is seeking damages for their unlawful treatment may seek money damages, including future losses, non-economic loss and punitive damages. The rights and remedies available will depend on the case. However, in many civil rights cases, you may also be able to seek court costs and attorney's fees from the injuring party.
Civil Rights Lawyers
If an individual or company denied you your basic civil rights or illegally discriminated against you, you should consider speaking with an Illinois civil rights attorney as soon as possible. There may be a time limit for you to act to seek justice and make sure your rights are protected. Our attorneys have successfully represented our clients' civil rights in Peoria and throughout the state of Illinois. If you have suffered financial or emotional injury as the result of discrimination, contact your experienced Illinois civil rights attorneys at Benassi & Benassi.