Americans are not inclined to shy away from any attempt to violate those rights.
Case in point: the US Department of Justice has filed a complaint in US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against the City of Ecorse, alleging that the City discriminated against two women formerly employed in the city clerk's office.
It is interesting to note that even though the violations stem from the alleged behavior of the former city clerk, the complaint is against the City given that the former city clerk was an agent, or representative of the City.
It is alleged that the human rights of two women who worked in the city clerk's office were harassed over a six-month period—from the Fall of 2005 to Spring 2006—by the former City Clerk for the City of Ecorse. Among the allegations are inappropriate touching and the directing of sexually charged comments towards the women. It is alleged that the accused did not limit himself to asking the two women out on dates, but allegedly requested sex from one of the women and tied his approval of her attendance at work-related training to her willingness to comply with his demands.
"Women should not have to endure this type of treatment in the workplace," said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division. "The Department of Justice will vigorously pursue cases in which a public employer turns a blind eye to sexual harassment and fails to take prompt and effective action to stop sexual harassment in the workplace."
The complaint alleges that the city failed to take action, or refused to take measures to to stem the alleged harrassment.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in employment on the bases of sex, race, national origin and religion, and prohibits retaliation against those persons engaging in protected activity. It hsould be noted that the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division has jurisdiction to bring lawsuits against state and local governments.
In another civil rights case that could leave you shaking your head, an ordinance passed in November 2006 in Miami-Dade county, in the State of Florida, made it illegal to be less-than-truthful with regard to petitions—an ordinance which provided for fines and jail time.
Former Miami Beach Mayor David Dermer filed a lawsuit seeking to have the ordinance struck down as it was a direct attack on free speech. A federal judge agreed that the law violated the First Ammendment, and struck down the ordinance.
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''I know how difficult it is to go through a petition process—it was nearly impossible,'' current Mayor Carlos Alvarez said Friday. "Anything that a legislative body would do to make it harder, I think would infringe on the citizens' rights to be able to petition.''
Basic civil, and human rights in this country are held dear by Americans, and are guarenteed by the Constitution. If you feel that your basic human, or civil rights have been violated in any way, a qualified civil rights attorney can best advise you on the proper course of action to ensure that your basic rights are protected.