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If you work in Maryland and believe your employer has discriminated against you, a number of different laws may apply to your claim.  For example, federal statutes like Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act may apply.

In addition, certain state and local laws may provide you with additional legal protection and remedies, which you should consider before filing a lawsuit in court.  Below is a summary of some of the laws and ordinances that may be of use for employment discrimination claims in Maryland.

If you have suffered discrimination or retaliation, contact us today to learn about your rights.  To schedule a preliminary consultation, click here or call us at (202) 769-1681.  Our Maryland office is located in Chevy Chase, MD about one block from the Friendship Heights Metro station.

Maryland’s statewide anti-discrimination law

Maryland state law (State Government Article, §20-602, Annotated Code of Maryland) protects Maryland employees from discrimination based on their:

Important:  Maryland’s law applies to employers who have 15 or more employees.

Examples of illegal discrimination in Maryland

The Maryland anti-discrimination law makes it unlawful for an employer to engage in the following conduct because of the protected characteristics listed above:

  • recruiting for employment
  • hiring
  • establishing work conditions
  • firing
  • harassment
  • retaliation

Whether the conduct you experienced meets the legal definitions of these unlawful practices must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

In addition, unions and labor organizations may not deny membership or otherwise discriminate in apprenticeship opportunities for qualified candidates based on a protected characteristic.

Likewise, it is unlawful for your employer to retaliate against you for filing a complaint of discrimination or assisting the investigation of a discrimination claim.

 

Anti-discrimination laws at the County level

Several different counties in Maryland provide additional statutory protections against employment discrimination, including:

  • Montgomery County;
  • Baltimore County;
  • Prince Georges County;
  • Howard County; and
  • Frederick County

These county laws vary in terms of the protected classes they cover, the deadlines by which complaints must be filed, and the damages and remedies that are available.  It is thus important to speak with an experienced employment discrimination lawyer to explore and understand your legal options in Maryland.

Filing a discrimination complaint in Maryland

If you believe you have been discriminated against at work and want to file a complaint, the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR) has a website with helpful information about how to file your complaint.  You should contact MCCR or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as soon as possible if you are considering filing a complaint because strict deadlines apply.

Also, you may be able to file a complaint with your county’s government agency.  The “Helpful Resources” section below provides additional information.

NOTE: if you are employed by a federal, state, or local government agency, different remedies and complaint procedures will apply and you should consult with your agency’s EEO office or an experienced attorney as quickly as possible to understand the requirements.

Remedies available in Maryland discrimination claims

In most employment discrimination claims against private employers, you may be awarded some of the following types of relief:

  • Back pay – the difference between what you should have been paid if promoted or hired and what the company actually paid you;
  • Compensatory damages – damages to address emotional distress, reputational harm, etc. that you suffered as a result of the company’s discrimination or retaliation;
  • Punitive damages – damages to punish the company if it acted with malice or reckless indifference;
  • Attorney’s fees and litigation expenses; and/or
  • Make-whole relief – placing you into the position you were unlawfully denied.

NOTE: if you are employed by a federal, state, or local government agency, different remedies and complaint procedures will apply and you should consult with your agency’s EEO office or an experienced attorney as quickly as possible to understand the requirements.

Top-Rated Maryland Sexual Harassment Lawyers

Zuckerman Law advises sexual harassment victims about their rights and vindicating those rights.  Although every case is unique, the following frequently asked questions provide an over view of the key legal issues that often arise in sexual harassment cases.

 

  1. Can an employer be held liable for customer sexual harassment?
  2. What damages or remedies are available for victims of sexual harassment?
  3. What is a hostile work environment?
  4. Can a single incident of harassment suffice to establish liability?
  5. How do I prove my workplace is a hostile work environment?
  6. What is quid pro quo harassment?
  7. What is workplace sexual harassment?
  8. In a sexual harassment case, does it matter if it is a supervisor versus a co-worker who is harassing me?
  9. Who is a “supervisor” in sexual harassment cases?
  10. How can employees combat harassment at work?
  11. What is the deadline for filing a sex harassment or retaliation claim?
  12. What type of retaliation is prohibited against an employee who reports unlawful discrimination or harassment?
  13. Is an employer prohibited from retaliating against an employee because the employee reported harassment?
  14. What is an employer’s affirmative defense in a sex harassment case?

Helpful resources

 

SEC Whistleblower AttorneyHiring an experienced Maryland employment discrimination lawyer

Hiring a proven and effective advocate is critical to obtaining the maximum recovery in an employment discrimination case.  Eric Bachman, Chair of the Firm’s Discrimination Practice, has substantial experience litigating precedent-setting individual and class action discrimination cases.   His wins include a $100 million settlement in a disparate impact Title VII class action and a $16 million class action settlement against a major grocery chain.  Having served as Special Litigation Counsel in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and as lead or co-counsel in numerous jury trials, Bachman is trial-tested and ready to fight for you to obtain the relief that you deserve.

Bachman writes frequently on topics related to promotion discrimination, harassment, and other employment discrimination issues at the Glass Ceiling Discrimination Blog.

U.S. News and Best Lawyers® have named Zuckerman Law a Tier 1 firm in Litigation – Labor and Employment in the Washington DC metropolitan area.  Contact us today to find out how we can help you.  To schedule a preliminary consultation, click here or call us at (202) 769-1681.

Maryland Employment Lawyers

Our office is in Chevy Chase, but we serve workers in several Maryland cities, towns and municipalities, including:

  • Bethesda
  • Chevy Chase
  • Rockville
  • Silver Spring
  • Kensington
  • Frederick
  • College Park
  • Frederick
  • Columbia
  • Gaithersburg
  • Garrett Park
  • Glen Echo
  • Greenbelt
  • Greensboro
  • Kensington
  • Laurel
  • New Carrollton
  • Somerset
  • Takoma Park

 

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