Do You Need a Maryland Wrongful Termination Lawyer?

  • Have you been the victim of unfair termination by your employer because you reported fraud or wrongdoing?

  • Do you need to protect your career because you reported your employer’s illegal or unethical conduct?
  • Are your reputation and financial stability on the line because you did the right thing and spoke out?

Although an employee is generally considered to be employed “at will” and can be discharged by an employer for any reason or for no reason at all, most states, including Maryland, have adopted exceptions to protect employees who disclose criminal, illegal, unethical or unsafe practices. In addition, Maryland wrongful discharge law protects employees who refuse to engage in illegal conduct. If you suffered an unfair termination, bringing a claim of wrongful discharge may help get your job back.

People ask us:

The attorneys at The Employment Law Group® law firm are experienced in representing employees in wrongful termination claims throughout Maryland.  Whether you have been terminated for refusing to engage in illegal conduct or reporting a supervisor’s or co-worker’s illegal conduct, our employees can help bring your claims to resolution.

Our attorneys have brought numerous claims of wrongful termination to successful conclusions for our clients.  In 2004, The Employment Law Group® law firm established that requesting an employer’s sexual harassment policy is protected in under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  The employee claimed that after suffering sexual harassment by her supervisor, she was terminated when she requested her employer’s workplace harassment policy.  The Employment Law Group® law firm argued that this constituted a wrongful discharge in violation of public policy. We also established that a nursing home’s termination of an Activities Director and Office Manager for reporting health and safety violations can constitute a wrongful discharge.

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A prevailing plaintiff in a common law wrongful termination suit may recover economic, compensatory, and punitive damages.

As with all legal claims, deadlines are crucial. In Maryland, employees have three years to file a claim of wrongful discharge. However, it is important not to sit idly on your claims. You may have other causes of action with much more immediate filing deadlines.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is covered under Maryland wrongful discharge law?

In 1981, the Court of Appeals for Maryland first recognized the claim of wrongful discharge in the case of Adler v. American Standard Corp., prohibiting employers from punishing employee conduct that is protected by a state or federal public policy. The elements of wrongful discharge are:

  • Employer-Employee Relationship. The plaintiff was an employee of the employer;
  • Adverse Employment Action. The plaintiff was fired or experienced another kind of adverse employment action that violates clearly mandated public policy; and
  • Protected Conduct. The employee’s protected conduct was a motivating or substantial factor in the employer’s decision to take the adverse employment action.

What compensation can a wrongfully discharged employee recover?

A wrongfully discharged employee is entitled to compensation for lost wages and benefits. Additionally, the employee may be compensated for their pain and suffering and awarded punitive damages.

What must an employee show to establish a claim of wrongful discharge?

An employee must demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that:

  1. the employee was discharged;
  2. the discharge violated a clear mandate of public policy; and
  3. there is a nexus between the employee’s conduct and the employer’s decision to fire the employee.

Termination, demotion, suspension, and other disciplinary actions committed by the employer are adverse employment actions.

What kind of employee conduct is protected?

Protected employee conduct is conduct that is protected under well-established public policy that is substantially based in state or federal law. Some examples of protected conduct include:

  • Unsafe Workplace. Refusing to work when conditions are unsafe or under the threat of violence;
  • Whistleblowing. Properly reporting what the employee reasonably believes to be illegal activity, even if mistaken;
  • Fraud. Refusing to engage in fraudulent business practices;
  • Government Investigations. Cooperating with a government investigation or refusing to lie to a government official;
  • Court Appearances. Attending jury duty or testifying in court;
  • Discrimination. Opposing what the employee reasonably believes to be illegal discrimination;
  • Family Leave. Exercising your right to take unpaid leave under the Maryland Family Rights Act; and
  • Unpaid Wages. Demanding wages be paid promptly.

What should I do if I believe I have been wrongfully fired or discharged?

Keep a detailed and contemporaneous log of your employer’s actions and statements relating to your wrongful discharge. If you have been wrongfully discharged, it is your right to take legal action. Contact The Employment Law Group® law firm at 888-603-0983 or to discuss your potential claim.