In an effort to push and enforce the basic personal rights guaranteed under the United States Constitution, federal civil rights statutes were passed back in 1957 and 1964. The main goal of both of these statutes is to prohibit and prevent discrimination. In the state of Michigan, civil rights claims generally fall under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, which was passed in 1976. The act has been amended in various ways nearly 20 times since its passing. As it stands, Michigan civil rights laws make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, genetic information, marital status, familial status, height, weight and arrest record.

A current and notable change is that the United States Supreme Court recently ruled that people who are LGBTQ are also protected under existing federal civil rights law. While this ruling applies across the country, there are still legal gaps that will be filled as LGBTQ discrimination cases are pushed forward. There are also a number of groups in Michigan pushing for statewide Michigan legislation to fully protect people who are LGBTQ under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

Michigan law prohibits discrimination in:

• Police/Law enforcement
• Employment
• Education
• Public Service
• Housing
• Public Accommodation

Civil rights claims can be complicated and are often met with tough resistance, as our current political and social climate have shown this to be true. If you believe you have been discriminated against, it is best to speak to an experienced civil rights attorney immediately.

Got a question? We’re here to help.


Some of the most common civil rights claims happen in the workplace. Whether you are not being given equal opportunity for jobs or promotions, employment discrimination is embarrassingly too common. We have also unfortunately seen the ugly truth regarding the actions of bad and unethical police officers in how they handle people of all races and backgrounds. Fortunately, there are avenues to financially punish those who commit civil rights violations. There are a variety of types of discrimination that can result in a money judgement for you, they include:


  • Sexual Harassment
  • Police Brutality
  • Police Misconduct
  • Violations of the Fair Housing Act (FHA)
  • Religious Interference
  • Cyberbullying
  • Age Discrimination
  • Educational Discrimination
  • Educational Harassment
  • Malicious Prosecution


This is not a complete list of the types of discrimination that exist by any means. Discrimination comes in many ugly shapes and forms, and if you are wondering about what discriminatory behaviors against you might be actionable in court, then a discussion with an experienced civil rights attorney can help clear up the picture. 

The MDCR, also known as the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, is an administrative agency that investigates complaints and represents the interests of the state of Michigan. If you believe you have been discriminated against, then the MDCR will investigate that claim as long as it is made within 180 days of the occurrence. While the claim is being investigated, both sides will have the opportunity to present evidence they believe supports their position. The investigation may also include interviews with witnesses, document analysis, and even a site visit. During this process, the MDCR will look to try to resolve disputes when possible. If no agreement is reached, the MDCR will simply complete their investigation and make a report on their findings. 

It is important to note that the MDCR does not represent you or the opposite side when you make a complaint. The MDCR is simply there to investigate and hopefully resolve claims. Some claims, however, cannot be resolved in this fashion. You are not required to file a complaint with the MDCR before filing a claim in court. Once a case is filed in court, the MDCR actually does not have jurisdiction or authority over the case, the court then does. 

If you or someone you love is facing discrimination, it is natural to have a number of questions. Finding a website like this one can be a great resource, but it is not a substitute for the advice of an experienced Michigan civil rights attorney. If you have more questions about your potential Michigan civil rights case, then the attorneys at Zeineh Law are available to you.


When you are seeking to make a civil rights claim, there are a number of factors that you will have to satisfy in order to get compensated for your negative experiences. A claim to your employer or the MDCR may not be enough to stop and punish the discrimination you have experienced. At Oakes Law Group, we pride ourselves on making sure you understand every part of the process and what is needed to be successful so we can organize and prepare your strongest possible Michigan civil rights claim.


If you have been a victim of discrimination at any level, then it is important to speak to an experienced Michigan civil rights attorney immediately. At Oakes Law Group, we are proud to offer FREE consultations to all prospective clients.

If you are in the process of choosing your attorney or are looking for an honest assessment of your legal situation, then our attorneys are available to help you now. Feel free to contact us anytime at 1-888-886-5711 or email. Our advice is free, and our conversations will always be protected by attorney-client privilege. Make your first choice towards freedom with a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney at Oakes Law Group today.