Do You Need a Maryland Discrimination Lawyer?
Have you been the victim of unfair retaliation because you reported a hostile work environment?
- Have you, yourself, been the subject of discrimination in the workplace?
- Do you worry how you would pay your bills if your discriminating supervisor terminated your employment?
In addition to federal prohibitions on discrimination, including Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and others, Maryland workers are also subject to the protections available under Maryland discrimination laws. The Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act (“FEPA”) makes it unlawful for an employer with fifteen or more employees to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, and genetic information. FEPA also protects employees from retaliation when those employees disclose or object to practices that are discriminatory. If you have lost your position as a result of unlawful discrimination or retaliation, FEPA may be able to help get your job back.
Important statutes in this area of law:
Prohibition against discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin
Equal rights under the law
Prohibition against discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; prohibition against retaliation; enforcement by EEOC
Protection against workplace discrimination; prohibition against retaliation; enforcement by EEOC
Prohibition of sex discrimination
Overall Rule and Definitions of ADAAA; disability Definitions; congressional findings
Employment benefits and protection; leave requirement ; prohibited acts
Notable TELG cases in this area of law:
TELG client Donna Jackson won $650,000 in a case that extended “cat’s paw” liability to workplace retaliation cases filed under Maryland state law.
The attorneys at The Employment Law Group® law firm are experienced in representing Maryland employees in claims of discrimination and retaliation under the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act and the federal anti-discrimination statutes. Whether our client’s goal is to resolve his or her claims quickly or, alternatively, proceed all the way through trial, we have helped numerous clients achieve favorable outcomes in their matters.
In Jackson v. Edgewood, The Employment Law Group® successfully represented Donna Jackson, a thirty year employee of Edgewood Management Corporation, after she was terminated for reporting her subordinate’s gender discrimination complaint. After proceeding through trial and the appeals process, Ms. Jackson saw the $650,000 jury verdict in her favor restored by an appellate judge in Maryland. More recently, TELG represented Vince Balderrama in his lawsuit against Lockheed Martin. Balderamma, a Hispanic male, alleged that he was terminated after complaining about discriminatory treatment from his supervisor. A jury ultimately agreed and awarded Balderamma, a former Marine, $830,000.
If you have suffered illegal discrimination or retaliation under the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act, you may be entitled to reinstatement in your job; back pay for lost wages; front pay for future lost wages; litigation costs and attorney fees; and other compensatory damages.
As with all legal claims, deadlines are crucial. Under the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act, aggrieved employees have six months from the date of an adverse action to file a claim with the Maryland Commission on Human Rights. Employees have 300 days to file a charge with the EEOC. But it is important that you do not delay in speaking to an attorney. You may have other claims with much shorter statutes of limitations and an undue delay may cause you to miss your filing deadline.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is sexual harassment under Maryland discrimination laws?
Sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination that includes among other behavior:
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Requests for sexual favors
- Any verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that affects an individual’s employment
Which federal laws prohibit workplace discrimination and sexual harassment?
There are several federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
- Equal Pay Act of 1963, protecting men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination.
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), protecting individuals who are 40 years of age or older from age discrimination.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), prohibiting employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities.
Which Maryland state laws prohibit workplace discrimination and sexual harassment?
The Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act, Article 49B of the Code of Maryland, prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating based on:
- National Origin
- Marital status
- Sexual Orientation
- Genetic Information
How do Maryland workplace discrimination laws differ from similar federal laws?
Maryland law provides broader protections for individuals against workplace discrimination than similar federal laws do. For example:
- Maryland law allows individual supervisors to be charged.
- Maryland law explicitly prohibits discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation while federal law does not explicitly prohibit such discrimination.
What forms of compensation are available to an individual who is exposed to illegal workplace discrimination or sexual harassment by an employer?
A prevailing plaintiff in a workplace discrimination lawsuit may be entitled to:
- Lost wages and benefits
- Cease and desist orders against the employer
- Damages for emotional distress
- Reasonable attorney’s fees and costs
- Expert witness fees
- Administrative fines
- Additionally, the court may order punitive damages.
In which aspects of employment is discrimination prohibited?
It is illegal to discriminate in any aspect of employment, including:
- Job advertisements
- Hiring and firing
- Use of company facilities
- Training and apprenticeship programs
- Retirement plans
- Other terms and conditions of employment
Must an employer make accommodations for a disabled employee?
Generally, yes. If an employee is deemed disabled, the employer must make a good faith effort to institute reasonable accommodations that will permit the employee to work at his or her current position, unless the employee cannot perform the essential functions of the job, even with accommodation.
How much unpaid leave must an employer allow an employee to use when experiencing pregnancy, the birth of a child, a serious health condition, or to take care of a sick family member?
Generally, an employer cannot refuse to grant an employee up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for pregnancy complications, maternity or paternity leave, care of the employee’s own health condition, or care of an immediate family member who has a serious health condition.
Can an employer fire or otherwise retaliate against an employee for reporting illegal workplace discrimination or sexual harassment?
No. An employer may not retaliate in any way against an employee who reports or refuses to engage in what the employee reasonably believes to be prohibited workplace discrimination or sexual harassment. Prohibited forms of retaliation include firing, demotion, suspension, harassment, threats, or any conduct that would dissuade a worker from reporting workplace discrimination or sexual harassment.
What should I do if my employer engages in workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, or has retaliated against me for reporting such prohibited behavior?
Keep a detailed and contemporaneous log of your employer’s actions and statements relating to workplace discrimination and your employer’s retaliatory acts, and contact The Employment Law Group® law firm at 888-603-0983 to discuss your potential claim.