Civil Litigation FAQs

Please note that the answers are general in nature, are not intended to address a specific legal question, and do not constitute legal advice.

If I feel like I have been discriminated against in my job, what should I do? First, if your job has a personnel manual handbook, follow the specific instructions as outlined. If they do not have a personnel manual handbook, report to your immediate supervisor, human relations department or owner of the company. If that doesn't result in a satisfactory outcome, file a complaint with the Texas Commission on Human Rights, 6330 Hwy. 290 East, Suite 250, Austin, TX 78723 or P.O. Box 13006, Austin, TX 78711-3006, 512-437-3450, and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, San Antonio District Office, 5410 Fredericksburg Rd., Suite 200, San Antonio, TX 78229, 210-281-7600. Once you have filed a complaint, there is normally a 180 days investigation period. After 180 days, you are free to contact our office to see if we will be able to represent you.

Which of my civil rights are covered as a work-related civil rights violation? Generally, you may not be discriminated against based on your sex, religion, national origin, or race. In some cases, you may not be discriminated against based on your age or medical condition.

What happens after I let EEOC or TCHR investigate my claim? After the investigation, they generally attempt to mediate a settlement. If this is unsuccessful, they will either send you a "right to sue" letter or they may wish to litigate the case themselves. When EEOC or TCHR choose to litigate, please be aware that the forms of compensation may be more limited than what a private attorney could obtain for you.

I have a relative in prison who is being mistreated. What should I do? Upon entering prison, a person's civil rights are restricted. However, you have the right not to be exposed to cruel and unusual punishment. This means that you must be adequately fed, given appropriate medical treatment, and kept relatively safe. However, before a person has a right to bring suit there must be a conscious denial or deliberate indifference on behalf of the prison authorities in not meeting these basic needs.

I believe the police used excessive force when I was arrested. What should I do? Generally, the police may only use the amount of force appropriate in a given situation. The legal analysis of what constitutes "appropriate force" is rather lengthy and complex. As each case is different, each occurrence must be addressed individually.