Upholding the Civil Rights Act — One California Client at a Time

Your civil rights cannot be infringed by an employer, government agency, or other institution. The Civil Rights Act and other federal and state laws guarantee equal protection for all citizens, regardless of their age, gender, race, or creed, among other protected characteristics. Allred, Maroko & Goldberg has been instrumental in expanding civil rights protections in America for the past 40 years. Our cases represent the vanguard in transforming the civil rights landscape for women, minorities, the LGBTQ community, and immigrants. Our long history of significant cases include:

  • Same-sex marriage (March 4, 2008): For almost four hours, the California Supreme Court heard arguments regarding the right of same-sex couples to marry. Partners Gloria Allred, Michael Maroko, and John West were prominent among the advocates appearing before the court, representing clients Robin Tyler, Diane Olson, Rev. Troy Perry, and Phillip Ray DeBlieck. The California Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex couples right to marry, in what the media called the biggest civil rights case in decades.
    • Following the November 2008 passage of California Proposition 8, which restricted marriage exclusively to couples consisting of a man and a woman, AMG did not give up the fight. We filed a lawsuit with the California Supreme Court arguing that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional because it does not provide equal protection to same-sex couples.
  • AMG has brought claims against President Donald Trump, Bill Cosby, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Robert Fillner (the former Mayor of San Diego), among other well-known individuals.
  • Jenna Talackova v. Miss Universe Canada: In 2012, AMG fought and won Ms. Talackova's right to compete in the Miss Universe Canada competition as a transgender woman.
  • Nicky Diaz Santillian v. Meg Whitman: In 2009, AMG represented Ms. Diaz Santillian who had worked as Whitman's housekeeper and nanny for nine years. Ms. Diaz Santillian alleged that Ms. Whitman knew about her status as an undocumented worker for years, and then terminated her in 2009 because she was running to become governor at that time.
  • Hunter Tylo v. Spelling Entertainment Group, Inc.: Ms. Tylo was awarded nearly $5 million in damages. Hunter Tylo v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, 55 Cal. App.4th 1379, 64 Cal.Rptr.2d 731 (1997). This was a significant victory for persons suing their employers; the Court of Appeals made it clear that it will not allow employers to engage in "fishing expeditions" during the discovery phase of litigation.
  • Rita Milla and the Seven Priests: In 1984, AMG represented Rita Milla in a 20-year battle with the Catholic Church to bring the priests who sexually abused her to justice and determine which of them fathered her child.
  • Arlene Moorman v. Mike Tyson: In 2001, AMG represented a woman who claimed she was raped by Mike Tyson in her criminal case against him.
  • Friars Club: In 1987, AMG challenged the men-only membership club and Gloria Allred became the first dues-paying woman member.
  • AMG has also fought and won for women who were being charged more than men for equal services in such areas as dry-cleaning, clothes alterations and children's haircuts.

What Are Civil Rights Violations?

The following are examples of conduct that may be considered civil rights violations:

  • California's Unruh Civil Rights Act: Any discrimination by a business establishment against a customer because of race, gender, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship, primary language or immigration status.
  • California's Bane Act (Cal. Civ. Code § 52.1): California law makes it illegal for anybody to threaten or commit acts of violence against you or your property because of the kind of person you are, or the kinds of persons with whom you associate. It also forbids anyone from interfering by force or by threat of violence with your federal or state constitutional or statutory rights. The acts forbidden by these civil laws may also be criminal acts, and can expose violators to criminal penalties.
  • California's Ralph Act (Cal. Civ. Code § 51.7): Provides protection from hate violence. It prohibits violence or threats of violence based on age, ancestry, color, disability, genetic information, national origin, marital status, medical condition, political affiliation, position in a labor dispute, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Right to work
  • Failure to identify and correct civil rights violations

What Are Your Privacy Rights at Work?

You have a right to privacy even at work. However, that right may be limited. In general, any intrusion by your employer that violates your reasonable expectation of privacy may be actionable. For example, you are likely to have a reasonable expectation of privacy to confidential medical information, not to be filmed or observed when you use the bathroom as well as in any areas designated for changing or expressing breast milk. In addition, depending on your employers' policy and the applicable state law, you may have some expectations of privacy in your computer usage.

Exploring Your Legal Options After a Violation

The most important aspect of your claim is the careful screening of the facts to establish that it meets the criteria for filing a formal complaint. If a civil rights action is not warranted, there may still be grounds for a lawsuit related to sexual harassment, age discrimination or wrongful termination. An attorney from Allred, Maroko & Goldberg can provide a consultation and case evaluation, then make recommendations based on your unique circumstances, including resources available to resolve employment disputes as well as possible legal intervention.

Contact Us Today

The first step to resolving a civil rights complaint is to contact the law offices of Allred, Maroko & Goldberg for a comprehensive discussion of your rights, options and obligations. Please call our Los Angeles office at 323-302-4774 and a member of our staff will be happy to schedule an appointment with an experienced civil rights lawyer. You can also reach us at our New York office at 212-202-2966.