Your Rights Matter To Our Arkansas Civil Rights Lawyers
Protecting you from employment discrimination, police misconduct and infringement of your Constitutional rights
At Huffman Butler, PLLC we believe that everyone has the right to live their life freely, without hindrance, while allowing others to do the same. Our Arkansas civil rights lawyers devote their law practice to helping you assert your civil liberties. From employment discrimination to police brutality, we work zealously on your behalf.
Defending your rights under the Constitution
Your civil rights are not limited to the workplace. Discrimination can occur in housing, healthcare and public accommodations. Violations can also involve the infringement of your civil liberties under the U.S. Constitution, including:
- First Amendment — The First Amendment protects your freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of religion. We help clients pursue violations involving censorship, Internet speech, political speech, school speech and the right to protest, among other issues.
- Second Amendment —Although the U.S. Supreme Court has characterized the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as a “codified a pre-existing right,” gun owners must often fight to preserve their firearm ownership rights. We help gun dealers, gun collectors, hunters and other shooters navigate complex state and federal gun laws, including gun licensing and gun permit revocation.
- Fourth Amendment — The Fourth Amendment guards against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” In practical terms, it protects against most arrests and searches of your person, home or vehicle that are not conducted pursuant to a warrant and supported by probable cause. We routinely handle cases involving police misconduct, including false arrest, illegal search and seizure, and excessive force.
- Fifth Amendment — The Fifth Amendment places several important limits on law enforcement and offers protections to individuals during the criminal process, including a right to a grand jury for capital crimes, a prohibition against being charged for the same offense twice (double jeopardy), a restriction against forcing witnesses to incriminate themselves and a guarantee that all criminal defendants receive a fair trial. Whether you are under investigation or facing criminal prosecution, our lawyers zealously protect your Fifth Amendment rights.
- Fourteenth Amendment — The Equal Protection Clause requires Arkansas to provide equal protection under the law to all people within its jurisdiction. Our legal practice includes helping to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination in the workplace, housing and other aspects of their daily lives.
If you feel that your rights are ever violated in any way, we can help. Our civil rights attorneys fight hard for justice, working to ensure that you receive fair and equal treatment under the law.
Section 1983 Actions
If a government official violated your civil rights, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit under U.S. Code Section 1983. In order to file a Section 1983 case, a “person acting under color of law” must have deprived you of your constitutional rights. The “color of law” means that the person is acting under the apparent authority of the state. Thus, Section 1983 covers various law enforcement officials, such as police officers, county sheriffs and prison guards. The law also includes a wide range of constitutional rights, from free speech protections to the freedom from cruel and unusual punishments. If you win a Section 1983 lawsuit, you may receive monetary compensation for any financial losses, such as medical expenses or lost wages. The court may also award additional punitive damages to punish the person who violated your rights.
Enforcing your rights in the workplace
Employers are required by law to provide workers with equal opportunity and fair treatment. Examples of federal and state laws that protect you against workplace discrimination include:
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) — You cannot be forced out of your job based on your age (over 40 years old).
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) — If you are pregnant, or there is a medical emergency in your family that requires your attention, your job must remain secure.
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — You do not have to tolerate employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) — Your disability must be reasonably accommodated in the workplace.
- Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) — Men and women who perform substantially equal work must be paid equivalent wages.
- Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) —Your employer cannot discriminate against you based on your genetic information.
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) — You are entitled to fair wages, including overtime pay.
- Arkansas Civil Rights Act of 1993 — This civil rights legislation enforces your rights on the state level and offers several advantages over federal law.
All of the above laws prohibit “discriminatory practices” by employers. This definition covers a wide range of terms and conditions of employment, including:
If you have suffered a civil rights violation, you must first file a charge with the state or federal agency that enforces the law, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You may file suit after receiving permission from the EEOC in the form of a “right to sue” notice. If you are successful in proving discrimination, a number of remedies are available, including back pay or front pay, promotion, reinstatement and reasonable accommodation. The court may also order your employer to pay your attorney’s fees and court costs.
At Huffman Butler, PLLC we work diligently to defend your civil rights and provide effective solutions that make sense. With passion, clarity and integrity, we guide clients to reasonable resolutions and outcomes that often change lives.
Contact an aggressive civil rights advocate in Arkansas
If your civil liberties have been violated, you need an experienced lawyer. You can count on Huffman Butler, PLLC to be there for you. For a free initial consultation, call 501-315-5297 or book an appointment on our online scheduler.