As dismal as it sounds, most Americans and almost all foreigners are not aware of the basic laws that pertain to their legal rights as citizens or tourists. This not only fosters instances where an individual’s rights are trampled upon, but it also creates a society where many do not receive the fair and proper treatment that they deserve. To make understanding the law and your rights much simpler, below are a few essential need-to-know laws that you should be aware of.
Fair Housing Act
Adopted in 1968, the Fair Housing Act makes it illegal for anyone to discriminate towards an individual that is seeking to rent, sell, or purchase a home. It is illegal to discriminate based upon race, color, handicap, religion, sex, national origin, or familial status. In addition, for individuals with disabilities, the fair housing act protects their right to make adjustments to the property so long as the adjustments are necessary to maintain a standard of living.
Occupational Safety and Health Act
Passed in 1970, this law requires that every workplace is legally bound to provide employees with healthful working conditions, regardless of sex. The company cannot foster a work environment that exposes employees to harmful chemicals, unsanitary work space, dangerous machinery, or extreme heat and cold. In addition, the employer is unable to be discriminatory toward the employee.
While not all states prevent law enforcement from racially profiling pedestrians and vehicle owners, many states do uphold the law. It is illegal for law enforcement to stop you based upon your color or religious background and accuse you of criminal behavior.
U.S. Patriot Act
Passed in 2001, and still quite controversial, this law gives the United States government the power to monitor many types of transactions among its citizens when it suspects a terrorism threat. The U.S. Secretary of Treasury has the power to regulate financial transactions that include foreign entities. In addition, the government reserves the right to issue “sneak and peak” warrants, meaning that they can quickly check a statement automatically.
Voter I.D. Requirement Laws
If you haven’t been to vote in a while, you’ll notice that in many states, you are not required to present a voter ID. This voting law, while not active in every state, is now becoming more rampant as more states adopt it. Luckily though, the DMV is able to issue you an ID free of charge, should you not have one.
Knowing these laws should be more important to each and every one of us. Hiring a professional like Robert J. Batting to help you if you ever find yourself in trouble in Canada can mean a world of difference. If you know your rights you can be sure to not forfeit them in any future altercation no matter which country you are in.