Civil Rights: Employment FAQs

Do you know your civil rights when it comes to employment? There are many different laws that protect you from discrimination in the workforce. One example is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The US Department of Justice has information on its website about employment discrimination and various legal protections. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about your civil rights in employment.


Q:

How does Title VII protect me against employment discrimination?


  • A:

    It protects you by prohibiting discrimination by your employer based on certain characteristics. Your employer is also prohibited from retaliating against you if you assist in a Title VII civil rights investigation.


Q:

What types of characteristics are covered under Title VII?


  • A:

    Your employer can't discriminate against you based on race, sex, national origin or religion.


Q:

Is there a certain agency that enforces Title VII against employers?



Q:

Is there a federal law that protects employees who are disabled from discrimination?



Q:

Is there a certain agency that enforces the ADA against employers?


  • A:

    There are two agencies that enforce the ADA. For state and local government employers, the Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, US Department of Justice is responsible for enforcing the ADA. For private employers, the EEOC is responsible for enforcing the ADA.


Q:

I believe my employer committed illegal discrimination in violation of Title VII. What should I do?


  • A:

    The EEOC is the main agency that investigates claims of discrimination under Title VII. Contact the EEOC to check to see if it's possible to file a charge against your employer.


Q:

How do I get permission to file a discrimination lawsuit against my employer?


  • A:

    The EEOC has authority to issue you a notice of the right to sue after an investigation against a private employer or union. The US Department of Justice has authority to issue you a notice of the right to sue against a state or local government employer.


Q:

Can the US Department of Justice issue me a notice of the right to sue against a federal agency?


  • A:

    No. Contact an equal employment opportunity officer at the offending agency to file a discrimination charge.


Q:

Can I file a Title VII discrimination charge against my employer one year after the discrimination occurred?


  • A:

    You probably won't be able to since there are time limits for filing, usually 300 days after the discrimination act. It may be as low as 180 days in some states.


Q:

How long do I have to file a personal lawsuit once I receive a notice of the right to sue?


  • A:

    You'll have 90 days from the time you receive the notice.


Q:

Can the US Department of Justice extend my 90-day time limit if I won't be able to file a lawsuit in time?


  • A:

    The US Department of Justice can't extend the 90-day time limit from the time you received the notice of the right to sue.


Q:

The EEOC didn't find anything in its investigation, but I think the decision is wrong. Can I ask the US Department of Justice to change the decision?


  • A:

    The US Department of Justice doesn't have the power to overturn the decision of the EEOC.


Q:

Will the EEOC or the US Department of Justice provide me with an attorney for my private lawsuit?


  • A:

    No, you must normally provide your own private attorney.


Q:

What can I do if I can't afford a discrimination lawsuit against my employer?



Q:

My attorney made many legal errors and inadequately represented me. Will the US Department of Justice do something about this?


  • A:

    The US Department of Justice won't help with claims of improper attorney representation. Contact your state bar association to report any problems with your attorney.


Q:

How does the Age Discrimination in Employment Act protect me?



Q: Does the ADEA protect all ages?

  • A:

    The ADEA applies to people who are 40 years or older in age.


Q:

What agency investigates any ADEA discrimination claims against employers?


  • A:

    The EEOC has the authority to investigate claims of age discrimination.


Q:

How does Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protect me?


  • A:

    Title VI protects you by prohibiting discrimination based on race, color or national origin in any activity that involves federal monetary assistance.


Q:

I believe my employer is retaliating against me after I filed a charge of discrimination. What can I do?


  • A:

    The EEOC can help you determine whether you can file another charge for the retaliation.



Have a Civil Rights Question?
It’s Free & Easy.
Lawyers.com Verified Content
Lawyers.com legal editors have reviewed and verified that the content included in this article reflects accurate and up to date legal information.


Ask a Lawyer

Have a Civil Rights Question?
  • It’s simple, free and safe.
  • Submit your legal question confidentially with ease of mind.
  • Receive multiple answers from top rated lawyers.
Civil Rights Law Firms
In United States change location

Lakeland, FL
(863) 617-9842 | Contact Now

Philadelphia, PA
(215) 987-3241 | Contact Now
State *
City