Maryland Employment Lawyer
If you’ve been discriminated against in the workplace, it’s important to file a claim and hold your employer accountable for their actions. Contact an employment attorney in Maryland to seek justice for the mistreatment you’ve experienced.
No one deserves to be discriminated against, no matter what the reason may be. Whether you’re pregnant, have a disability, practice a lesser-known religion, or come from a minority racial background, you’re protected under federal antidiscrimination laws in the workplace. When going to work, it’s important that you feel safe in order to complete your job effectively.
Oftentimes, you may feel that an incident of bias or prejudice has occurred, but you aren’t sure whether it warrants an official discrimination claim. At Snider & Associates, LLC, our attorneys can help you determine the best possible steps to take in your situation, using specific criteria to determine if you have a case. We’ll assess your case based on harm, justification, and similarly situated employees.
With the help of a Maryland employment lawyer, you can feel more comfortable when going to work, and, hopefully, once you’ve settled your case, no further acts of discrimination will happen in the future.
Antidiscrimination Laws in Maryland
There are federal antidiscrimination laws that cover employees in the state of Maryland, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This statute makes it illegal for employers to discriminate based on race, color, gender, sex, religion, or national origin. Other federal acts put in place to protect minority groups include:
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
- The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
- The Equal Pay Act
- The Americans with Disabilities Act
These laws protect individuals within certain groups, and it’s important to note that you can’t claim discrimination under one of these acts if you don’t fall within the category listed. For example, in Maryland, you can’t claim age discrimination if you aren’t over the age of 40.
Maryland’s State and Local Antidiscrimination Laws
While federal laws protect employees across the state of Maryland from basic discrimination, there are also state laws and local laws in place to increase employee protection. The state of Maryland greatly protects employees with an antidiscrimination policy that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, ancestry or national origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or genetic information.
Local laws vary throughout the state, but Howard County, Maryland, for example, expands upon the federal discrimination law and makes it illegal for employers to discriminate based on the basic Title VII criteria as well as the following:
- Marital status
- Political opinion
- Sexual orientation
- Personal appearance
- Familial status
- Source of income
Identifying Discrimination in the Maryland Workplace
Discrimination in the workplace can be seen in various ways. While the hiring and firing process are usually the first areas that come to mind, bias and harassment can also be seen in everyday workplace relationships and conditions, from lack of pay raises and promotions to retaliation when discrimination claims are filed.
The first way to determine whether discrimination is taking place is to examine whether, as the victim, you’ve experienced harm in some way from your employer. This can include physical harm, economic harm, or emotional harm.
The second thing to do is to compare the treatment you’ve experienced to other employees in similar situations. If you’re being paid less than other employees in your position, this can be seen as discrimination, for instance. Finally, justification will need to be determined. Is your lack of pay justified due to lesser performance? If not, then discrimination is often the clear verdict.
Filing a Federal Workplace Discrimination Claim in Maryland
In the state of Maryland, you can file a claim through the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR) or through the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). These agencies work together to cross-file claims, so you’ll only need to file with one agency in order to get the claim processed in both places. Local agencies also cross-file with state and federal agencies.
If you file your employment discrimination claim federally with the EEOC, you can do so online, by mail, by phone, or in personal at the EEOC office closest to you. When you speak to an EEOC staff member in person, you can better explain your experience.
There’s a 180-day deadline from when your incident occurred for filing EEOC claims; however, if the discrimination you experienced is outlawed by the federal government and state or local law, then the deadline is 300 days. Once you file your claim, an EEOC staff member will investigate your case and may suggest that you and your employer go to mediation to resolve the issue.
If mediation isn’t successful, a more in-depth investigation will commence. Although it may take up to ten months to resolve your case, you can file a notice for a right to sue once 180 days have passed from the date you filed.
Maryland’s Employment Discrimination Claims Process
Maryland’s claims process for incidents of employment discrimination is similar to the federal claims process. As mentioned, the MCCR enforces antidiscrimination laws in the state, and you can begin your claim by initiating an inquiry through the MCCR online. You’ll have six months from when your incident occurred to file your claim.
Once you initiate an inquiry, an investigator will reach out and schedule an interview with you. Your claim isn’t officially filed until you complete an interview with the investigator. The investigator will then begin their research and draft a written statement with their findings. If the investigator finds probable cause for discrimination, they’ll use conciliation to try to remedy the situation with your employer.
If conciliation fails, then the MCCR will forward the case to the Commission’s Office of the General Counsel. If you would prefer to file a private lawsuit against your employer for discrimination, you can file a notice for a right to sue.
Contact a Maryland Employment Attorney
If you’d like to pursue a private lawsuit against your employer, you must first file a claim with the MCCR or the EEOC. However, if they don’t resolve your case, you have the chance to pursue legal action. Hiring a Maryland employment attorney from the start can be a great way to receive legal advice and understand the process from start to finish.
At Snider & Associates, LLC, we’re prepared to stand by you and ensure your case gets resolved. We want you to receive the compensation you deserve so that you can feel comfortable at work again. If you’re ready to speak with a Maryland employment lawyer, call 410-653-9060 or fill out the contact form below.
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