Every citizen of the United States is entitled to certain rights and privileges. When someone's rights are infringed upon, that is a violation of his or her civil rights and is not allowed. Over the years, there have been landmark cases that brought these injustices to the attention of the American public, such as Plessy v. Ferguson. Discrimination should not be tolerated, and no citizen should have to endure the humiliation and disrespect that is involved.
Discrimination is often subtle, leaving you wondering if you were actually discriminated against or if you're just imagining it. If you suspect that you have been targeted by discrimination, then trust your instincts and take action by contacting our New York discrimination lawyers at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP.
Discrimination comes in many different forms, and the following examples are just a few:
- Age Discrimination is when an individual is treated unfairly because of his or her age.
- Sexual Discrimination is when an individual is treated poorly because of his or her gender. This has become a major issue in recent years as the battle for LGBTQ rights has spread across local, state, and federal courts.
- Sexual Harassment is when an individual is subjected to unwanted sexual advances or physical conduct, sexually explicit conversation, or requests for sexual favors.
- Racial Discrimination is when an individual is treated unjustly because of his or her race.
- Religious Discrimination is when a person experiences unfair treatment because of his or her religious beliefs. This includes the loss of opportunities or employment because of religious conflicts.
Discrimination can be a difficult topic to discuss, not only because it evokes powerful emotions, but also because it is not a concrete thing like a car accident or assault with a weapon. Discrimination can take the form of attitudes, behavior, words, and/or body language, which makes it difficult to recognize. Consider these examples of ways in which discrimination actually takes place:
- A woman goes to work and her boss comments on how she is dressed, makes provocative statements, or repeatedly looks at her in a way that makes her uncomfortable.
- Coworkers discuss religion in the break room at work and one of them makes statements that insult another religion.
- A man goes in for a job interview and the interviewer comments on his age, making remarks about the fact that he is older than the interviewer.
- A man of color walks down the street and is stopped by the police for no discernible reason, questioned, and perhaps even detained.
All these events and many more constitute a form of harassment and discrimination. They can be brief moments or extended occurrences, but the result is the same: someone feels like he is less important as a human being because of another person's behavior. In all of these situations, the victim has the right to contact an experienced discrimination lawyer to bring a civil action against those who let such harassment take place.
- Who can be discriminated against? The popular depiction of discrimination is against a social minority. While this is certainly common, in reality pretty much anyone can be discriminated against. Men and women alike, from any social, religious, and racial background, can be targets for discrimination. Certain people are more likely to experience it due to some prejudices being more common than others. But ultimately, anyone can suffer discrimination and take action against the perpetrators.
- Who can discriminate against others? Anyone can discriminate against another person. In general, those who are in a position of power over another person have the greatest ability to discriminate. Power is not necessary, however, and pretty much anyone can participate in discriminatory behavior. Legal repercussions are most common when there is an imbalance of power, and when someone uses his or her power to actively discriminate against another person.
- Can discrimination happen in school? Yes, discrimination can absolutely happen in a school. Young people who are required to be in school are a "captive audience" for teachers and other staff. They have no choice but to be there, so teachers have extra responsibility to consider what they say and how they act toward their students. Discrimination in schools can come from teachers, administrators, or students acting in an offensive or discriminatory way toward others.
- How can I prove discrimination happened? Proving discrimination can be difficult, which is why an experienced lawyer by your side is essential to winning such a case. In general, it helps to have witnesses to what occurred, or documentation if it happened in an email or text message. Other victims of the same person’s discrimination can come together to corroborate each other's stories and strengthen a case. With enough evidence, out-of-court settlements are more likely than a ruling, but each situation is unique.
There are State and Federal laws to protect you from discrimination. Call (212) 986-7353 for help.
Our NY civil rights violation attorneys are well-versed in acts to end discrimination, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995.
Discrimination and the violation of civil rights are wrong and should not be inflicted on any individual. The lasting effects can be demoralizing and may cause severe emotional trauma for the victim. Our NY personal injury attorneys will work diligently to protect your rights and put an end to this injustice.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of discrimination, please contact Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, today at (212) 986-7353.