Title VII Civil Rights Act

In 1964, the U.S. Congress passed Title VII Civil Rights Act, which prohibited discrimination in employment and in other areas of society. The act made it illegal to discriminate in the workplace based on a person’s race, color, religion, sex and national origin. The Civil Rights Act was broad in scope, extending to education, public institutions, the government, labor and businesses. Title VII also established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

What Are Civil Rights?

The 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and other acts passed by Congress form the legal basis for a civil rights definition. Essentially, civil rights are human rights to freedom and equality in our social and political systems.

Since 1964, the U.S. legislature has passed other civil rights measures as well. Case law has also emerged that has further established precedents and addressed specific issues involved with civil rights violations. Today there are additional protected classes recognized under federal law that are free from discrimination including: age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

New York State Human Rights Law

Many states and some cities have passed their own version of civil rights law. The New York legislature passed the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL), which encompasses additional protected classes. The full list includes:

  • Age (18+)
  • Race
  • Creed
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender Identity or expression
  • Military status
  • Sex
  • Pregnancy
  • Disability
  • Predisposing genetic characteristics
  • Familial status
  • Marital status
  • Domestic violence victim status
  • Previous arrest or conviction record


The NYSHRL applies to employment, and as such it prohibits employers from retaliating against workers in protected classes for asserting their rights.

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New York City Human Rights Law

New York City has also passed its own civil rights law, called the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL). This law prohibits employment discrimination based on:


  • Age
  • Race
  • Creed
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Gender
  • Pregnancy
  • Disability
  • Marital status
  • Partnership status
  • Caregiver status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Uniformed service
  • Alienage or citizenship status
  • Previous arrest or conviction record

The NYCHRL also prohibits retaliation based on employees asserting their rights as members of these protected classes. All employers with four or more employees in New York City are subject to the NYCHRL.

Civil Rights Case Testimonial

At the Law Office of Peter A. Romero, our civil rights lawyers have successfully represented clients in employment discrimination cases. The following is a review from one of our clients that we represented in a civil rights lawsuit:


5.0 star Avvo Review

Posted by anonymous
August 31, 2016

Peter is an excellent attorney with a compassionate side and complete understanding for your emotions as well as a thorough knowledge of law and best course of action. Always available! He totally helped me wrong a right!
Peter helped me with a lawsuit against a large company for discrimination in employment in violation of Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (“Section 1981”) and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (the “NJLAD”).
I would use Peter again in a second!

He sent a letter to my company and they still said no. I then filed a lawsuit and we managed to settle the case. 

I have the highest respect for Mr. Romero.


Consult with a Civil Rights Lawyer

Arrange a free consultation to speak with a civil rights attorney and find out how we can help.  Call (631) 257-5588 or contact us online to arrange a consultation.

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(631) 257-5588

Long Island Office

490 Wheeler Road, Suite 250
Hauppauge, NY 11788

Manhattan Office

321 Broadway, Suite 400
New York, NY 10007

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