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Fair Housing and the EEO

Fair housing is a law that hinders discrimination in areas concerning selling and renting of properties based on race, color, or religion. The bill was a subject of intense debate in the Senate, which was passed by the majority of the housing representatives a few days after the death of Martin Luther King Jr. The initial bill’s goal was to protect the rights of civil workers, but it was later expanded to incorporate racial discrimination in housing. After the fair housing act was passed in 1968, many housing units remained separated in numerous towns in the United States.

Many of the Americans moved from towns to go and live on the outskirts so that they could secure the employment opportunities that the black people needed. This led to the rise in ghettos, which were characterized by high crime rates due to the high unemployment rate. The fair housing act also prevents discrimination in housing based on family status. In addition, the act provides guidelines for handling cases of discrimination, which are customarily filed through the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

AN OVERVIEW OF HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
According to various sociologists, housing discrimination has led to separation for instance, situations where houses are sold through sorting and bidding, which does not favor the low-class people. The federal housing act deters against various acts of housing discrimination which include;

•Preferences in the rental advertisement

•Landlords refusing to rent their houses to people of a a particular race

•Landlords demanding sexual favors before renting houses

•Landlords offering exceptional services

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development provides a platform where tenants can lodge a complaint if their rights are being violated. The HUD will then conduct a probe to ascertain whether conciliatory measures will solve the problem.  HUD deals with all aspect of housing discrimination, but for workplace discrimination, you must turn to the Equal Employment Office at the Department of Labor.

THE US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR’S OFFICE OF EQUAL EMPLOYMENT (EEO)
The main objective of this law is to advocate for excellent working conditions for workers and to give them job opportunities. In addition, the department is also focused on collective bargaining and has also established a platform where workers can easily air their grievances. Equal employment opportunity basically forbids workplace discrimination. The US Department of Labor has two main agencies that deal with the enforcement of EEO.

1.The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs which looks at contracts and subcontracts
2.Civil Rights Center which is charged with leading all the EEO programs and activities.

Discrimination in employment generally entails aspects such as firing, promotions, employee transfer, salary range and discrimination in the job application. The US Department of labor has a well laid out executive order, which requires the implementation of affirmative action in the workplace to increase employment of women and people with disabilities in companies. Affirmative action activities comprise programs that analyze conditions of workplaces and strategies that are needed to create employment opportunities for people.

To combat housing discrimination, the government of the United States is adopting some more efficient strategies. One of the top techniques is to broaden the tax incentives that will incorporate low-income housing even in remote areas. Another approach is to use policies that will help in the construction of residential properties, particularly for people of color. The end goal for these two approaches is to increase housing units for low-income earners significantly.

Discrimination in the Workplace

Employment discrimination is a situation whereby an employee is treated differently due to a protected class such as religion, race, nationality, gender, disability, sexual orientation, past criminal convictions, pregnancy, and age. Some of these discriminations are; being given harder jobs due to your race, being given fewer hours to complete a lot of work, and some pointed comments being made about your gender, ethnicity, religion, beliefs, or even race.

The employment discrimination laws are there to prevent discrimination based on a protected class. The main body of these laws has state statutes and federal. The US constitution gives additional protection for the government employee. The 5th and 14th amendments of the US Constitution limits federal power as well as the state government to discriminate. The fifth amendment has a clear cut requirement that the federal government should not deprive people of liberty, life, or property without the due process of the law. There is also an implicit guarantee for every individual to receive equal protection by the law.

On the other hand, the fourteenth amendment prohibits the state from violating the people’s rights because all are covered by equal protection. In the context of employment, there is the right of equal protection that limits the power of the federal government and the state to practice workplace discrimination by treating the employees and the applicants unequally due to the membership in the group. Due process protection states that an employee should be given a fair process in case of termination of duties resulting from liberty or proper interest. The state constitution also is able to afford protection from employment discrimination. However, the law does not show direct constraint discrimination in all the private sectors, and they have become subject to a developing body of state statutes and federal.

In the year 1963, congress passed an equal pay act, which later amended the ‘Fair Labor Standards Act.’ Equal pay does not allow the unions and employers to pay different amounts to their employees based on their protected class. However, it does not prohibit other discriminatory practices, such as in hiring. It requires that if workers are working equally, applying equal skills and efforts, then they should receive the same equal pay. The ‘Fair Labor Standards Act’ applies to all the employees that are engaged in aspects dealing with interstate commerce.

‘Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 1964’ does not allow discrimination in most of the aspects of the employment relationship. It applies to many employers that have engaged in interstate commerce, having not less than fifteen employees, employment agencies, and labor organizations. This act prohibits discrimination that is based on color, religion, race, sex, and nationality. When referring to sex, it includes pregnancies, childbirth, or any other related medical condition. It is illegal to discriminate an employee about these issues about discharging, hiring, compensating, in giving terms and conditions, as well as the privileges of the employment. The employment agencies most times do not discriminate when referring applicants or hiring them. Still, the act does not allow labor organizations from union classification or membership point of view.

Workplace discrimination can occur in the following situations;
• Suggesting a preferred candidate in an interview or a job advertisement
• Excluding potential candidate during the recruitment
• Denying some employees benefits especially those with disabilities
• Paying a different amount of salary to equally qualified employees
• Disrupting the company facilities and when promoting employees

Other employment malpractices that are protected and addressed under federal legislation are;
Age discrimination in the workplace- here, companies are advised not to specify the age of people they want to employ and to pay all employees equally regardless of the era, provided that the services rendered have similar effort.

Hostile environment- this if a form of harassment and discrimination whereby the workers are exposed to hostile and unfavorable working conditions, thereby preventing them from performing their duties well. It is an offensive working environment for the employees because they work with a lot of difficulties.

In the US, companies are prohibited from mistreating their employees, and any employee who feels that he/she has been discriminated in the workplace is advised to file a complaint with the ‘ Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.’

 

Housing Discrimination – Do You Know Your Rights?

America has been known to be the country that represents an equal opportunity for everyone who resides there. Its rich diversity of different citizens from all walks of life with the spirit of unity which binds them, has come to symbolize the principles of justice and freedom as to which the country was founded. This is why it’s extremely disturbing for individuals to be denied housing as a result of sex, age, disability, or other discriminatory factors.

Government Body Responsible For Housing Discrimination
Fortunately, however, the Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD for short, is tasked with the responsibility of enforcing the Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act strictly prohibits intimidation and discrimination towards individuals in regards to getting a home, renting an apartment as well as the stipulations of a mortgage loan.

The opportunity to get homeownership or rental housing is the main objective of the nation’s housing policy. Any provider who refrains from selling or renting properties to individuals based on religion, sex, race, disability, or familial status is in direct violation of the law. Let’s take a look at what the Fair Housing Acts cover, exemptions, what it prohibits property owners from doing as well as your rights and the choices you have if you feel like you have been treated unfairly.

Who Does The Fair Housing Act Cover And For What Type Of Housing?
The Fair Housing Act strictly prohibits housing discrimination against people because of:

  • Sex
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Familial Status

Exceptions
There are 4 exceptions to the Fair Housing Act

1) Units of a building that have a maximum of four units, one of which the owner resides.

2) Property is owned by a religious organization. However, the law stipulates that preference can only be given on the basis of membership with that religion and they cannot give preference for anything else such as nationality, sex, or disability.

3) Property which is owned by a private organization that provides housing opportunities to members only.

4) Single-family homes. The law states that if the house owner does not own more than 3 properties and did not use a broker or real estate agent, they can choose who to rent their property to for any reason.

Actions That Are Covered
Some of the actions which a property owner cannot make solely based on religion, sex, disability, and national origin include:

1) Availability Misrepresentation
The owner or landlord cannot tell you that an apartment or dwelling is not available when in fact it actually is available.

2) Refusal to Rent
Landlords or real estate agents can’t refuse to sell or rent property to you because you identify as one of the aforementioned categories of people.

3) Discriminative Terms and Conditions
Property owners cannot provide you with a different set of rules than others solely based on the aforementioned factors.

4) Discriminatory Advertising
This includes any written statement within newspapers or verbal statements which indicates limitations/preferences for certain people.

5) Use of Intimidation, Coercion or Threats
It is illegal for anyone to block you from buying or renting a house by implying that it would not be in the best interest of your safety for you to move in said location.

What To Do If Someone Commits Fair Housing Violation?
Individuals who believe that they may have been a victim of a housing violation can file an official complaint with HUD. From that point, HUD will investigate the allegation and provide representation for bonafide victims. Alternatively, you can utilize the services of a lawyer to file a civil lawsuit in state or federal court.

PROS And CONS
Each option has its list of PROS and CONS. For instance, by going to HUD directly, they will have the ultimate say as to whether or not they believe that there’s strong evidence of a housing discrimination violation. However, representation by a HUD specialist is free. Alternatively, when pursuing the civil lawsuit route, the ultimate decision will be made by a judge. This in itself can prove to be more advantageous because unlike a HUD specialist which requires evidence to strengthen your case beforehand, a lawyer will provide information on how you can acquire evidence to increase the likelihood of a good outcome.

5 Most Common Reasons People Hire Attorneys

Hire Attorneys

Having An Attorney To Deal With The Legal Issues Is What Everyone Will Need When They Stand In The Shoes Of a Plaintiff Or a Defendant. Each Person Will Have a Different Reason To Hire An Attorney; Be It For Legal Assistance Through Several Cost Concerns Of a Business Or The Feud Over a Particular Property. Law Comes Into Play In Everyone’s Life Through Various Stages, And To Deal With It Wouldn’t Be An Easy Task.

When Many People Find It Easy To Understand The Procedures Of Handling The Case, They Decide To Go With Self-Representation. However, There Comes a Time When They Are Forced To Consult a Lawyer Regarding The Issue Because Self-Representation Comes With Pitfalls. Professional Guidance Is Sought When They Need It The Most, And Cost Wouldn’t Be The Biggest Concern But a Reliable Person Or Firm To Back Them Through The Hardest Phases To a Conclusion Is. When People Decide To Hire Attorneys, They Ruminate Through The Various Aspects By Keeping Their Need The Primary Criteria. Here Are Some Of The Reasons That People Go On To Hire An Attorney.

Legal

1.Estate Planning

Protection Of Your Current Assets For The Future Is Always Necessary Since Your Possessions Value a Lot, And Estate Planning Is All About Getting This Done. Planning To Protect All The Accumulated Wealth Is The Stage That Most People Find Difficult To Deal With. When You Don’t Plan The Estate’s Future, The Distribution Of Assets Could Go On To Happen Nothing Like You Wished It To Be. Estate Planning Becomes a Serious Concern When People Find Themselves At a Precarious Health State, Which Can Be Fought Only To a Certain Extent. Death Is a Part Of Everyone’s Life And To Secure Your Assets At Least At That Point Is Essential.

2.Family Issues

Everything That Comes Under The Roof Of a Family Is Included In This Category. Divorce Is The Most Common Issue That Comes Up In This Area; It Also Provides For The Division Of Property, Child Custody, And Spousal Support. These Are The Issues That Take Place Within a Family When The Rifts Are Widening. But The Family Law Attorneys Can Help You Even When You Want The Family To Prosper By Taking Up The Guardianship Of Children Or Adopting Them.

3.Crime

When Being Charged With a Crime, You Will Need An Attorney To Protect Your Rights. Only They Can Help You Stand Your Ground To Fight Against The Criminal Offense. You Could Also Get a Lawyer Appointed For You When You Cannot Afford It. When You Have The Money To Hire a Professional, It Is Always Good To Go For The Renowned Private Criminal Defense Attorneys.

Crime

4.Negligence

These Are Situations Where Cases Such As Car Accidents And Other Unintended Damages Lead To a Civil Matter. You Will Need An Experienced Attorney To Deal With These Issues Since It Involves a Lot Of Money For The Replacement Of Vehicles And Payment Of Medical Bills.

5.Business Issues

Everything From Starting a Business To Managing It Will Need An Attorney To Support You Through Several Issues Could Transpire In The Process. Disputing Or Writing Contracts, Taxation, And Other Legal Matters Can Be Efficiently Dealt With By An Attorney Than By Yourself.

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