LGBT Workplace Rights in Maryland
Can I be fired for being LGBT in Maryland?
If your employer has at least 15 employees, then no: Maryland has prohibited employment discrimination based on sexual orientation since 2001 and expanded that protection to cover gender identity and expression in 2014. (Md. Code Ann., State Gov’t § 20-602 (West).) Maryland also prohibits harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as retaliation for filing a complaint or participating in an investigation.
If you have suffered sexual orientation discrimination in Maryland, contact us to schedule a confidential consultation. Click here or call us at (202) 769-1681 or (202) 262-8959. You can also take a virtual tour of our offices in Chevy Chase, MD here.
Click here to see our videos answering frequently asked questions about discrimination and retaliation.
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Is sexual orientation discrimination illegal in Maryland?
It is illegal for a Maryland employer or prospective employer to discriminate against you based on your sexual orientation or gender identity with regard to: recruitment, hiring, transferring, dismissal, discipline, working conditions, promotions, training, advertisement, retirement, assignment, or performance evaluations.
In particular, Maryland’s anti-discrimination law provides:
It is the policy of the State, in the exercise of its police power for the protection of the public safety, public health, and general welfare, for the maintenance of business and good government, and for the promotion of the State’s trade, commerce, and manufacturers: (1) to assure all persons equal opportunity in receiving employment and in all labor management-union relations, regardless of race, color, religion, ancestry or national origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability unrelated in nature and extent so as to reasonably preclude the performance of the employment; and (2) to that end, to prohibit discrimination in employment by any person.
What should I do if I believe my employer has discriminated against me on the basis of sexual orientation?
If you are a public employee, you may file a complaint with your agency’s EEO Office within 30 days of learning of the discrimination. Once your agency renders a decision, you may file an appeal with the Office of the Statewide EEO Coordinator (OSEEOC) within 10 days. Additionally, you may file claims with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR) or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
If you are a private employee, you may file a complaint with the MCCR.
Top-Rated Maryland LGBT Discrimination Lawyers
Hiring a proven and effective advocate is critical to obtaining the maximum recovery in a Maryland sexual orientation 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.
Both Bachman and Jason Zuckerman held senior leadership positions at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, where they enforced the prohibition against sexual orientation discrimination in federal employment.
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.
Does Maryland Law Prohibit Discrimination Against Transgender Individuals?
Yes. In March 2020, Judge Hollander held in Squire v. FedEx Freight Inc., No. 17-3597 (D.Md. March 12, 2020) that Title VII protects transgender persons. She noted that “several courts in this district have found that, under Price Waterhouse, “discrimination on the basis of transgender status constitutes gender stereotyping because ‘by definition, transgender persons do not conform to gender stereotypes.’” M.A.B. v. Board of Education of Talbot County, 286 F. Supp. 3d 704, 714 (D. Md. 2018) (quoting Finkle v. Howard Cty., 12 F. Supp. 3d 780, 787-88 (D. Md. 2014)). In Finkle, Judge Bredar said, id. at 788: “[O]n the basis of the Supreme Court’s holding in Price Waterhouse, and after careful consideration of its sister courts’ reasoned opinions, this Court finds that Plaintiff’s claim that she was discriminated against ‘because of her obvious transgendered status’ is a cognizable claim of sex discrimination under Title VII.”
What Anti-Discrimination Laws Protect Workers in Maryland?
Maryland Discrimination Lawyers
Our office is located in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase area, but we serve workers in several Maryland cities, towns and municipalities, including:
- Chevy Chase
- Silver Spring
- College Park
- Garrett Park
- Glen Echo
- New Carrollton
- Takoma Park