Discrimination is illegal, at both the state and federal levels. Access to necessities like housing, employment, and education should not be denied to any individual on the basis of their race, color, sex, or religion. Disparities in society, like those sometimes found in the criminal justice and penal systems, should be corrected. All Americans should have access to basic human rights, and the laws of the nation should be applied equally to all.
However, this is not always the way the world works, and discrimination exists. Ben Crump Law, PLLC believes discrimination in any form should be fought. If you believe you have been discriminated against, a Washington, D.C. civil rights lawyer may be able to help you receive compensation for damages you have suffered. Contact our legal team today at 800-658-8448 to discuss your case.
About Washington D.C. Civil Rights Laws
In an effort to combat discrimination, Washington, D.C. has an extensive Human Rights Act that makes discrimination illegal based on 21 protected traits, according to the Office of Human Rights (OHR). This act protects anyone living, visiting, or working in Washington, D.C. against discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, and educational institutions.
Traits protected by the Human Rights Act are as follows:
- Country of origin
- Marital status
- Personal appearance
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity or expression
- Political affiliation
Protection under the law also is given for the following:
- Family responsibility. You cannot be discriminated against for supporting dependents, including your children, grandchildren, or parents.
- Familial status. You cannot be discriminated against for having children under age 18.
- Physical or mental disability. This includes individuals with an HIV/AIDS diagnosis.
- Matriculation. You cannot be discriminated against based on your attendance at a college, university, or secondary school.
- Genetic information. This protects those whose DNA or family history may show they are predisposed to a disease or illness.
- Place of residence or business
- Source of income
- Credit information
- Status as a victim of domestic violence
- Status as a family member of a victim of domestic violence
If you believe you have been discriminated against in Washington, D.C. the Human Rights Act allows complaints to be filed with the OHR. You can file a complaint if you believe you have been denied rights on the basis of any of the protected traits, or if you believe an employer or housing provider improperly asked about your criminal record. You have one year from the time the discrimination occurred to file your complaint.
According to the OHR, during the fiscal year 2019, there were 1,598 completed complaint forms filed with the office. This resulted in more than 450 docketed cases, and $2.5 million awarded in settlements through mediation. Workplace discrimination was the most common area of discrimination, with sex and disability being the most commonly cited protected traits in discrimination reports. If you believe you may have grounds for a complaint, contact a Washington, D.C. civil rights lawyer today.
For a free legal consultation with a civil rights lawyer serving Washington DC, call 800-658-8448
Discrimination in the Justice System
One area of society where racial disparity often can be found is in the criminal justice system. According to Human Rights Watch, African American men in the United States are incarcerated at six times the rate of white males. African American men account for 13 percent of the overall population in the United States, but 26 percent of all drug arrests.
Washington, D.C. has the highest incarceration rate in the United States, which has the highest incarceration rate in the world. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, 1,153 per 100,000 people are in D.C. jails, prisons, immigration detention centers, and juvenile justice centers.
In recent years, several high-profile cases have brought the issue of racial inequality in the justice system to the forefront, including the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Ben Crump represented the families of these young men, and his team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC may be able to help you, too.
Washington DC Civil Rights Lawyer Near Me 800-658-8448
What Can You Expect to Recover in a Civil Rights Lawsuit?
If you believe you have been denied housing, employment, or other basic rights, or you believe you have been unfairly targeted because of your race, color, religion, sex, or other trait protected by the Human Rights Act, you may be able to sue for damages.
A Washington, D.C. civil rights lawyer may be able to help you seek awards for:
- Lost wages. If you were terminated by your employer for any of the reasons protected by the Human Rights Act, you may be able to sue for lost wages, both past and future. This could also include benefits, such as health and life insurance, lost upon termination.
- Pain and suffering. If you have suffered emotional distress or physical pain because of the discrimination you have experienced, you may be entitled to awards.
- Punitive damages. Punitive damages may be awarded to a plaintiff as a punishment against the person or entity that committed discrimination.
How Ben Crump Law, PLLC Can Help
The team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC takes discrimination seriously. No one should be denied their rights based on their color, sex, religion, race, beliefs, or appearance. We believe everyone should be treated equally in the eyes of the law, and everyone deserves an equal chance at economic success.
Whether your discrimination was at the hands of an individual, a small business, large corporation, or even a government entity, we are not afraid to take on the tough cases. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you pay nothing out of pocket and nothing up front. Our fees come from any settlement we may secure on your behalf.
If you would like to find out more about how a Washington, D.C. civil rights lawyer may be able to help you, contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at 800-658-8448.