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Understanding civil rights and discrimination

As a person in the United States, you are protected by civil rights laws. These laws are in place at a federal level, meaning that they are enforced in all states. Civil rights laws provide protection from certain types of discrimination. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in the state of Tennessee, it is important that you take the time to understand how the law works.

Civil law protects people from discrimination only in certain environments. These environments include employment and education, housing rentals and purchases, government benefits, transportation services, commercial environments and medical services.

What is unlawful discrimination?

Unlawful discrimination occurs in one of the protected settings and a person must be discriminated against because of a protected characteristic. Protected characteristics under the law include race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national identity and disability. For example, if a person applies to rent an apartment in the state of Tennessee and their application is rejected because they are homosexual, this would constitute unlawful discrimination.

What is lawful discrimination?

There are many ways in which a person can discriminate against another without it being an unlawful act. This is any type of discrimination that takes place outside of a protected setting or does not involve a protected characteristic. For example, if a person applies to rent an apartment and their application is rejected because they are smokers, this would not be an instance of lawful discrimination.

If you have been unlawfully discriminated against in Tennessee, it is important that you assert yourself and that you take action to stand up for your civil rights.

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The Law Office of Gregory D. Smith

331 Franklin Street
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Clarksville, TN 37040

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