Civil Rights are in place to protect everyone regardless of their race, gender, whether they have a disability or any other protected characteristic such as age or religion. Laws regarding our rights and treating everyone equally have been developed over centuries. Whilst we have come a long way in our fight for equality, there is still some way to go and developments are happening all the time. If you believe that your civil rights have been violated then you may need a civil rights attorney.
Family and Medical Leave Act
The FMLA ensures that employees can take paid leave if they have to have time off for specified family or medical reasons, including having a child or becoming unwell. Recent laws in states across the country are now requiring companies to offer new dads to have paid leave. New York, New Jersey, California, and New Hampshire have all put laws in place. Washington is also in the process of putting laws in place and they should be in force this year. Men, as well as women, should get to spend time with their babies so that they can bond with them and help with the first few weeks.
The Equality Act: 2017 update
The Equality Act was first passed in 1964, but in May 2017 is was updated to include LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) people from discrimination. This includes discrimination in housing, employment, education, credit, and public services. LGBTQ advocates have been fighting for an update in the act since the 1970s and so this was a big move forward.
California recognizes a third gender
Many of the recent updates in civil law are to do with the LGBTQ movement, there are a growing understanding and knowledge. One issue for many people has been society’s boxes of either male or female, some people do not feel that they fit into either of these boxes. In October 2017 California becomes the first state in the US to legalize a third gender option if nonbinary on state documents and state-issued IDs. Non-binary includes a spectrum of gender identities that are not exclusively male or female. This will also make it easier for people to correct their gender on legal documents.
Similarly, in July 2017 Oregon became the first state to allow people to have an option of “not specified” on identification.
Kentucky restores voting rights to former felons
According to the US, constitution voting is a right. Despite this, many states’ felons cannot vote. This could be understood as when someone commits a crime, many of their rights can be taken away. Such as the right to freedom of movement. In most states, once someone has completed their sentences they are once again allowed to vote. However, in Kentucky up until December 2019, many former felons were still not allowed to vote. This meant that they were never really re-joining society, by being able to vote they can once again be a part of democracy.