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LGBTQIA Workplace Rights in Maryland

Can I be fired for being LGBTQIA 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) 262-8959.  

We are a proud sponsor of the Rockville Pride 2019.

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.
In addition, the anti-discrimination ordinances of Montgomery County, Howard County, and Prince George’s County bar sexual orientation discrimination.

What should I do if I believe my employer has discriminated against me on the basis of my 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 sector employee, you may file a complaint with the MCCR.

Top-Rated Maryland LGBTQIA Discrimination Lawyers

Hiring a proven and effective advocate is critical to obtaining the maximum recovery in a Maryland sexual orientation discrimination case.  

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 confidential consultation, click here or call us at (202) 262-8959.

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.”

Maryland LGBTQIA Discrimination Lawyers


Our office is located in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase area, 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