In most cases that involve discrimination and violations of civil rights, people have the right to file complaints at either the state or federal level. Government agencies are allowed to enforce your rights. After you file a complaint, an investigation will normally be started by the government agency, and it may take action on your behalf. Some types of claims must be filed directly with the government agency before lawsuits can be filed. Most claims must also be filed within specific time periods after the violations occurred. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler can help to explain the different requirements that might apply to your potential claim.
What government agencies enforce civil rights?
There are both state and federal agencies that investigate and enforce civil rights violations. The victims and the offenders do not need to be associated with the government. It is enough for the agency to investigate for the victim to make an allegation that a civil rights violation occurred.
Federal agencies that investigate civil rights violations include the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Office for Civil Rights of the Department of education and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. States also have agencies that handle civil rights and discrimination complaints. For example, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights investigates complaints of civil rights violations in the state. The claims that are involved and the facts of what happened will determine whether your claim is handled by a state or federal agency.
Cases in which filing complaints with the government is mandatory
Some types of civil rights and discrimination allegations must be filed with the correct government agency before lawsuits can be filed in court. The agencies have strict deadlines for filing the complaints. For example, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has a filing deadline of no more than 180 days after a discriminatory act occurred.
Talk to the attorneys at Swartz Swidler to protect your civil rights
If you think that you have suffered unlawful discrimination or have been the victim of another type of civil rights violation, it is important for you to talk to one of the experienced lawyers at Swartz Swidler. Our attorneys understand the various federal and state laws that may apply to your potential claim and can help you to understand how to file your complaint. We can also provide you with an assessment of whether you have valid grounds for a complaint and help you to understand the options that you might have. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.