Civil Rights

Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination based on your race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, religion or political beliefs. If you have been discriminated against and your civil rights have been violated in Virginia, you may find yourself hurt, confused, and needing legal help to remedy the situation. An aggressive attorney from S.L. England, PLLC, will fight to restore your rights.


Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against you based on your sex, race, color, national origin, or religion. This applies to employers with more than 15 employees, as well as governments (Federal, State, and Local), universities (public and private), labor organizations, and employment agencies. In 2017, there were 84,254 workplace discrimination violations in the United States filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Employers must also follow regulations set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This prevents employers from discriminating against you based on a disability and requires them to provide you with the same opportunities and benefits as other employees. Your employer must provide you with reasonable accommodations to perform your job.


The Constitution of the United States of America gives you civil rights that cannot be violated, including by law enforcement officers or the court. Some of the Amendments that give you specific civil rights include:

  • First Amendment (freedom of speech, press, and religion)
  • Fourth Amendment (search and seizure, use of force by law enforcement officers)
  • Fifth Amendment (due process)
  • Sixth Amendment (speedy trial and the right to an attorney)
  • Eighth Amendment (prohibits excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel or unusual punishment)
  • Ninth Amendment (other rights may exist that are not explicitly listed)


The Fair Housing Act protects you against discrimination when you rent or purchase a residence. A seller or landlord cannot discriminate against you based on your race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. As of 2017, this also includes gender identity and sexual orientation.

Housing discrimination takes many forms but may include refusing to sell or rent you a residence, limit your privileges, or interfere with your right to enjoy your residence based on any discriminatory reason. Housing discrimination is still rampant in the United States, with 28,843 cases reported in 2017.


The Virginia Human Rights Act (VHRA) gives further civil rights protections to Virginia residents. This law protects all individuals within the Commonwealth from discrimination based on:

  • race
  • color
  • religion
  • national origin
  • sex
  • pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions
  • age
  • marital status
  • disability

This applies to:

  • places of public accommodation
  • educational institutions
  • real estate transactions
  • employment


Civil rights violations can have long-lasting effects on your life, including your ability to find gainful employment or safe housing. When law enforcement violates your civil rights, they also violate your protections under the Constitution of the United States. At S.L. England, PLLC, our attorneys fight to protect your civil rights guaranteed by state and federal law. If your civil rights have been violated in Virginia or D.C., call us today at (202) 489-0720 or contact us online.

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