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Civil rights are fundamental to the United States Constitution, and numerous laws exist to protect these rights. 

Civil rights are vital in guaranteeing freedom of speech, the right to vote, housing, education, and employment. However, despite decades of legislation to support these rights and guaranteed protections for individuals, heinous violations still occur.

Police Misconduct and Racial Profiling

Racial profiling occurs when police target an individual based on their race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin rather than on their actions or behavior. When police abuse their power to engage with an individual, this can lead to unfair treatment, harassment, and a denial of basic rights.

Police misconduct includes a wide range of inappropriate behaviors, including excessive use of force, false arrests, harassment, and unlawful searches and seizures. These actions can infringe on a person’s rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

Workplace Discrimination

Workplace discrimination occurs when an employer treats an applicant or employee unfairly based on a protected category, such as:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Age
  • Disability

Examples of discriminatory actions include unfair hiring practices, wage disparities, wrongful termination, and a refusal to provide reasonable accommodation. 

Housing Discrimination

Housing discrimination occurs when individuals are denied housing opportunities based on federal- and state-protected categories like race, religion, sex, and disability.

Housing discrimination can include a wide range of actions, such as:

  • Refusing to rent or sell a home
  • Discriminatory advertising
  • Unfair lending
  • Illegal requirements to rent or buy a home

Housing rights are protected under state and federal laws, and whenever landlords and sellers engage in discrimination, you can hold them accountable through a claim or lawsuit.

Civil Rights Laws in South Carolina

South Carolina has its own set of civil rights laws that mirror those at the federal level. They include:

South Carolina Human Affairs Law

This law prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on religion, color, race, sex, disability, or national origin.

The South Carolina Human Affairs Commission enforces these provisions and investigates all complaints of discrimination.

South Carolina Fair Housing Law

This law specifically targets housing discrimination and mirrors the federal Fair Housing Act. It prohibits discrimination in housing-related transactions based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, or disability.

South Carolina Equal Enjoyment and Privileges to Public Accommodations Act

This act ensures that individuals have equal access to public accommodations such as hotels, restaurants, and theaters, regardless of their race, color, religion, or national origin.

How a Civil Rights Attorney Can Help

A South Carolina civil rights lawyer can be vital in helping victims of discrimination and other civil rights violations by providing legal representation, guidance, and support throughout the process. 

File a Complaint

One of the most critical elements that a civil rights lawyer can assist with is in filing a complaint with the appropriate state or federal agency, such as the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

Negotiate a Settlement

In some instances, a civil rights lawyer can negotiate a fair settlement with the opposing party. This may involve financial compensation and other remedies, such as changes to the party’s discriminatory policies and practices.

Represent in Legal Proceedings 

If a civil rights issue proceeds to court, a civil rights lawyer can represent you in state and federal court proceedings. They can help build a strong case, present compelling arguments, discuss the evidence, and advocate for your rights in court.

South Carolina Civil Rights Attorneys Can Hold Parties Accountable

No matter where it happens, discrimination is a heinous act that violates the law. The Law Office of Mo Abusaft represents victims of civil rights violations in Spartanburg and across South Carolina. Get in touch with us today for a free case review.