Eric S. Dreiband, U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, was a featured speaker at Epstein Becker Green’s 38thAnnual Workforce Management Briefing, an event which brings together government officials, in-house employment counsel, human resources professionals, and Epstein Becker Green attorneys to address the latest employment, labor, and workforce management developments.
Mr. Dreiband’s prepared remarks for the session “DOJ’s Civil Rights Division: An Overview of Current Interests and Enforcement Efforts,” were published in The United States Department of Justice’s Justice News.
Following is an excerpt:
The Civil Rights Division and its lawyers, investigators, experts, paralegals, support staff, and other employees and contractors work every day to protect the civil and constitutional rights of all of people in our Nation. We enforce the civil and criminal civil rights statutes of the United States and Constitutional protections. These laws, generally, seek to implement our founding ideals – human dignity, equal justice, and equal opportunity for all.
I will begin by providing a brief overview of the Division’s structure and subject matters and then will discuss our priorities and continued work in these areas.
The Civil Rights Act of 1957 established the Civil Rights Division as a law enforcement component of the U.S. Department of Justice. Since 1957, the Division has played a unique and critical role in protecting civil rights in America.
Beginning in 1964, the Civil Rights Act established landmark protections against discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, and religion. The Civil Rights Act built the groundwork for other critical federal civil rights statutes passed by Congress, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Fair Housing Act of 1968, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009.
The Division also plays a leading role in enforcing the federal human trafficking criminal laws, including especially the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and its subsequent reauthorizations, which expanded on the older involuntary servitude and anti-slavery statues the Division has historically enforced.