We uphold the civil rights of all people in the United States.
The Civil Rights Division enforces federal laws that protect you from discrimination based on your race, color, national origin, disability status, sex, religion, familial status, or loss of other constitutional rights.
If you believe your civil rights, or someone else’s, have been violated, submit a report using our online form.Start a report
or learn more about your rights
About the Civil Rights Division
We protect your rights through:
We sue or prosecute individuals and organizations who violate civil rights laws.
We help the public understand how to comply with these laws.
We help the entire federal government work together to enforce these laws.
Understanding your rights
Civil rights laws can protect you from unlawful discrimination, harassment, or abuse in a variety of settings like housing, the workplace, school, voting, business, healthcare, public spaces, and more.
If you have been mistreated by law enforcement (including while incarcerated), believe you have been a victim of a hate crime, or a victim of human trafficking, we can help get you to the right place.
Choose from this list to see example civil rights violations:
Fired, not hired, or demoted for reasons unrelated to job performance or qualifications
Retaliated against for reporting discrimination
Inappropriately asked to provide immigration documentation
Denied reemployment or fired based on military service
Denied an accommodation for a disability, including not being allowed to have a service animal in the workplace
Denied housing, a permit, or a loan based on personal characteristics like race, sex, and/or having children under 18 years old
Harassment by a landlord or another tenant, including sexual harassment
Challenges with terminating a lease due to military status change
Denied an accommodation for a disability, including not being allowed to have a service or assistance animal in public housing
Harassment based on race, sex, national origin, disability, or religion
Denied admission or segregated in an education program or activity
Denied educational accommodations for a disability or language barrier
Police brutality or use of excessive force, including patterns of police misconduct
Searched and arrested under false pretenses, including racial or other discriminatory profiling
Denied rights while arrested or incarcerated
Denied access to safe living conditions or accommodations for a disability, language barrier, or religious practice while incarcerated
Obstacles to registering to vote, obtaining or submitting a ballot, having your ballot counted, or entering a polling place to vote
Denied adequate voting assistance or accommodations for a disability at a polling place
Restricted or prevented from participating in an election, including voting, becoming a candidate, or being elected for office
A physical or online location that does not provide disability accommodations
Denied service or entry because of a perceived personal characteristic like race, sex, or religion
Denied an accommodation for a disability, including not being allowed to have a service animal in a commercial or public location
Physical attack causing injury, or an attempt to cause injury with a dangerous weapon, because of the above characteristics
Attacks, threats of violence, or destruction of property at place of worship (ie: shooting, arson, bombing, smashing windows, writing slurs)
Coerced into working through threats of harm or deportation, psychological manipulation, debt manipulation, document confiscation, or confinement
Forced into sex work for profit through physical abuse or assault, sexual abuse or assault, other threats of harm, or confinement
If you think you’ve experienced a similar situation, learn how to report a civil rights violation.
- Disability including temporary or in recovery
- Sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation
- Immigration/citizenship status
- Language and national origin including ancestry and ethnicity
- Family, marital, or parental status including pregnancy
- Genetic identification
- Servicemember status
How to report a civil rights violation
If you believe that you or someone else experienced unlawful discrimination, you can report a civil rights violation.
Report using our online form.
We review your report.
We determine next steps and get back to you.
Already submitted a report?
Here's what to expect.
Thank you for your report. We carefully read each one to determine if we have the authority to help. We do our best to let you know about the outcome of our review. However, we may not always be able to provide you with updates because:
- We're actively working on an investigation or case related to your report.
- We're receiving and actively reviewing many reports at the same time.
If we are able to respond, we will contact you using the contact information you provided in this report. Depending on the type of report, response times can vary. If you need to reach us about your report, please refer to your report number when contacting us. This is how we keep track of your submission.
Due to the amount of reports we receive, it can take several weeks for us to respond to your issue. Local legal aid offices or lawyers in your area may be able to quickly respond to or help with your concern
Contact Legal Services Corporation to help you find a legal aid lawyer in your area at lsc.gov/find-legal-aid.
Or visit www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_services/flh-home or call (800) 285-2221 to find a lawyer through the American Bar Association.