Justice For All

Civil Rights Act

Rashida will propose legislation to drastically expand U.S. civil rights protections to cover discriminatory impacts, in addition to discriminatory intent, when elected to Congress – a sweeping change for America that would change the landscape for millions of citizens.

 

Residents of Michigan’s 13th Congressional District and in diverse and working-class communities across America realize that they aren’t getting a fair deal. Economic opportunity – the ability to get a good education, to purchase affordable insurance, to get a mortgage or loan, or even to have safe drinking water – should not be determined by race, religion, ethnicity, or zip code. 

A cornerstone of Rashida's historic campaign for U.S. Congress in Michigan’s 13th District has been the effort to give residents and communities across this diverse working-class district equal access to opportunity. With this in mind, Rashida announced the framework for an innovative and groundbreaking Justice For All Civil Rights Act.

 

Half a century has passed since the initial groundswell of the civil rights movement inspired this country into action. And, yet, minority communities face discrimination and obstacles to accessing the American Dream on countless fronts. It’s time to address the problem head-on. 

What the Justice For All Civil Rights Act will do: 

  • Restore the ability of victims of discrimination to challenge practices that have an unjustified discriminatory effect based on race, gender, age religion, national origin, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation by re-establishing disparate impact as the standard upon which civil rights actions can be filed. 
     

  • ​Expand disparate impact claims to private sector action in regulated industries (e.g., utilities, banks, insurance, etc.). Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act enabled progress in challenging actions taken by federal, state, and local government actions using federal funds. The New Civil Rights Act will expand coverage to certain regulated industries.

  • Hold universities, schools, and administrators accountable for widespread sexual assault and harassment actions like those inflicted by Larry Nassar at Michigan State University by eliminating barriers in Title IX sexual assault and harassment cases that created incentive for officials to remain ignorant of problems. The New Civil Rights Act will make the standard of culpability compare to the agency law standard that apply to employers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
     

  • Ensure that individuals can pursue federal civil rights claims against discrimination by insuring a private right of action--including punitive and compensatory damages, attorneys' fees and costs--is available for individual litigants to pursue civil rights claims, while protecting equitable relief and other remedies for victims whose claims are based on disparate impact. 
     

  • End corporate abuse of "mandatory arbitration clauses" that thwart employees and customers who face discriminatory access to the procedural protections, substantive rights, and remedies that federal and state civil rights laws, including Title VII, provide. Under the New Civil Rights Act such arbitration clauses will only be enforced if they are part of valid collective bargaining agreements. 
     

  • Explicitly extend civil rights protections to all people regardless of gender or sexual identity. At a time when the Trump administration is arguing that civil rights protections don't extend to LGBTQX people and that transgender people don't exist, Justice For All would make explicit that the Civil Rights Act applies to all people, regardless of gender or sexual identity.

Intended Impacts of the New Civil Rights Act

  • Expand Educational Opportunity 

    • Challenge inequitable funding of our public schools.​

 

  • End Redlining Practices

    • Stop "territorial rating" of car and home insurance rates, which result in huge disparities that residents of low-income communities of color like Detroit and Wayne County face when paying for car and homeowners insurance. Simply put, safe drivers in these communities pay more than safe drivers in whiter and more suburban communities because of the use of a "territorial rating" system that systematically charges consumers more for the same product in communities of color. 

    • End the use of credit scoring in determining insurance rates.

    • Challenge mortgage, business lending, and other bank practices that systematically steer minorities into higher cost products or that deny homeowners and businesses owners access to credit regardless of their income, credit and ability to pay. 

  • Challenge Unfair Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Policies that Disproportionately Impact People of Color

    • End the use of racial profiling by police and other law enforcement authorities. These profiling tactics have been proven to be ineffective and have disproportionately subjected racial minorities to harassment, fear, and other injustices simply because of the color of their skin. 

    • Provide new avenues for victims of police violence to challenge systematic practices that result in the disproportionate killing of innocent people of color.

    • Ensure that criminal justice polices and laws--such as the disproportionate sentencing provisions between crack and powder cocaine--are designed and implemented without disproportionately impacting communities of color and other protected classes. 

  • Expand Employment Opportunities

    • Challenge private and public policies that needlessly bar returning citizens or those with bad credit from employment opportunities. 

  • Stop Water and Utility Shut-Offs, as well as Discriminatory Practices in Tax Assessment and Foreclosure

  • Protect Victims of Discrimination 

    • Require state employers to give workers full relief for age discrimination, including back pay. 

    • Clarify that federal law barring age discrimination requires the same standard of proof as cases of race, gender and other forms of discrimination.

  • Expand Access to State and Federal Resources for Roads, Schools, Health Care, Parks, and Other Vital Public Services

    • Overturn state and federal budget and appropriations policies that systematically restrict low-income communities of color from accessing funding for vital public services, roads, schools, hospitals and community health centers, parks, etc.

  • Improve Health Care

    • End systematic bias in treatment by hospitals.

    • Require state employers to give workers full relief for age discrimination, including back pay. 

    • Clarify that federal law barring age discrimination requires the same standard of proof as cases of race, gender and other forms of discrimination. 
       

  • Protect the LGBTQX Community 

    • Explicitly make discrimination based on sexual or gender identity illegal under the Civil Rights Act

Why Now? 

  • Rashida hears from constituents daily about these problems and has experienced them firsthand. They boil down to disproportionate impact on racial and other minorities.

  • This is important to getting to the real promise of opportunity and freedom that Dr. Marthin Luther King spoke of in 1963. It's 55 years later and the time for a New Civil Rights Act is now.  

Rashida Tlaib Elected to Represent Michigan’s 13th District

November 7, 2018

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