Frederick Discrimination Attorney Protects Maryland Employers and Employees
As the second-largest incorporated city in Maryland, with a population of 71,408 as of the last census and a historic city with roots in the 1700s, Frederick is an esteemed city in Maryland. Thousands of people flock to the city every year to visit historic sites, including Rose Hill Manor Park & Museums, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and the Schifferstadt Architectural Museum, as well as scenic outlooks like Gambrill State Park. With thousands of employers throughout the city, a constant concern is ensuring compliance with federal and state employment laws. The Frederick County local government oversees these businesses and also helps handle licensing and permitting issues.
Frederick enjoys a thriving economy that has experienced growth over the last several years and has an unemployment rate lower than the national average. The median household income of Frederick residents is $65,967, significantly above the US average income of $53,482. The top industries in the city are health care and social assistance, professional, scientific, and technical services, retail trade, educational services, and public administration – which collectively comprise 53.7% of the jobs in Frederick. With many of these jobs being established in professional settings, it is critical that Frederick, Maryland, employers and employees alike understand discrimination in the workplace and prohibited practices.
Maryland Anti-Discrimination Laws
Federal employment laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act protect employees throughout the state and country from discrimination on the basis of their age, disability, color, religion, sex, nationality, or race. However, Maryland’s Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) covers additional categories to prevent discrimination on the basis of:
- Marital status
- Genetic information
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity
While federal law and Maryland’s FEPA law only apply to employers with 15 or more employees, small employers may still be sued for discriminatory firings under Maryland law.
Prohibited Forms of Discrimination in Frederick, Maryland
The State of Maryland Commission on Civil Rights notes that the following forms of discrimination, based on those characteristics described above, are prohibited under state law from:
- Discriminating against an applicant in the recruiting or interviewing process.
- Publishing discriminatory job advertisements that discriminate against applicants of certain characteristics described above.
- Denying membership to qualified individuals or discriminating against them in the placement of apprenticeship programs or labor organizations.
- Refusing to hire an applicant because of the characteristics described above.
- Creating less favorable work conditions based on the protected class statuses described above.
- Discriminating in job referrals, asking discriminating pre-employment questions, or circulating unfavorable information about an applicant from an employment agency based on the characteristics listed above.
- Discharging, demoting, or failing to promote an employee due to the characteristics above.
- Harassing an applicant or employee on the basis of a protected class status described above.
- Retaliating against an employee for filing a complaint or assisting in an investigation based on an alleged discriminatory employment act.
It is important that employees who have been subject to any of the above treatments at work know that they have every right to demand better. There is no excuse for such discrimination, and it is 100% against the law. However, many people that are subjected to this type of behavior are afraid to report it. They are afraid of making a bad situation even worse, as the harassment or negative treatment can be fueled when your boss finds out that you’ve made a complaint. Worse yet, many fear of losing their job over such a report. But rest assured that you are protected. Your employer is not allowed to discipline you, fire you, or treat you negatively in any way due to the fact that you’ve reported discriminatory behavior to your company or to a government agency such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights. Get help from a trusted Frederick discrimination lawyer at Smithey Law Group LLC.
Statute of Limitations for Discrimination Cases in Frederick
If you’ve been the victim of discrimination, it’s critical to know how much time you have to file your case. The amount of time you have to file a claim is limited. Instead, the time frame is controlled by the statute of limitations. The general statute of limitations in Maryland states that you have three years to file a lawsuit. This period usually begins on the date of the discriminatory event.
Depending on the relevant law and claim that you might want to make, the statute of limitations varies.
For instance, you have 300 days to file a federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, starting on the day that you were discriminated against. Where state and federal laws both cover your claim, a Frederick discrimination law lawyer can evaluate which set of laws is better for your claim.
On the other hand, the statute of limitations for filing a discrimination claim with the Maryland Commission on Human Rights under Maryland’s Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) is 6 months. For harassment claims, you have 2 years to file a claim under FEPA. Both federal EEO claims and FEPA claims are used to seek recovery for discrimination based on protected characteristics like gender identity, race, religion, and disability, among other protected classes. In any event, it’s best to consult a Frederick discrimination lawyer sooner rather than later.
Most cases do not go to trial. Instead, lawyers work to resolve the case outside of the courtroom through a settlement. Settlements are better for everyone involved because they save you legal fees and get your case resolved much faster than going to trial. But you don’t want to accept any offer. You need a Frederick discrimination law attorney to assess your claim and help you get a fair settlement for your case.
So if you have questions or concerns about state or federal anti-discrimination laws, or are thinking of filing a claim, it is important to speak to a seasoned Frederick discrimination attorney like Joyce E. Smithey as soon as possible.
How Frederick Discrimination Attorney Joyce E. Smithey Can Help
Joyce E. Smithey is a seasoned Frederick discrimination lawyer who represents employers and employees in Maryland in situations involving allegations of employment discrimination. With nearly two decades of targeted legal experience, Joyce E. Smithey and her talented team are equipped to handle the following tasks in your discrimination case:
- Provide sage advice – Joyce E. Smithey can work closely with employers to develop policies to remain in compliance with federal and state anti-discrimination laws. She can also counsel employers on EEOC compliance and claim prevention. She can meet with clients who are employees who believe that they have been discriminated against and determine if they have a viable Maryland discrimination claim.
- Litigate the matter – Joyce E. Smithey is an experienced litigator who has achieved significant results inside and outside the courtroom.
- Explore alternative forms to resolve the case – Litigation does not always bring about the desired result and can create risks to employers and employees alike. Joyce E. Smithey can consult with you and may recommend other ways to resolve an employment dispute, such as negotiations or mediation.
There is a limited timeframe to file an employment discrimination case in Frederick, Maryland, so it is important to quickly discuss your case with an experienced employment discrimination attorney, Joyce E. Smithey, to protect your rights.
After consulting three other lawyers, I hired Ms. Smithey and her team to handle my workplace gender discrimination and retaliation case. Ms. Smithey first reviewed my expansive folder of documents and provided a reasonable assessment of our chance of winning. She explained her fee structure clearly and, moreover, believed completely in me. We were a team and I was so inspired by her professionalism. Her writing was thorough and she laid out my case in a manner that demonstrated great understanding of the details in a way that the defendant had to respond to all issues relevant to my matter. So apart from wanting to win, I felt heard. With such demonstrated excellence, Ms. Smithey won all three counts of my case and I was very satisfied with the settlement.
~ Posted by a client
We also represent our clients in the following types of employment legal matters:
- Class Actions
- Disability Accommodations
- Employment Contract and Severance Negotiations
- Equal Pay Act
- Medical Leave
- Representation of Public Sector Employees
- Restrictive Covenants and Non-Competes
- Retaliation and Reprisal
- Sexual Abuse Harassment
- Wage and Hour Issues
- WARN Act Violations
- Workplace Privacy
- Wrongful Termination and Discharge
- Certified Mediator in Employment Disputes
Schedule your confidential consultation with the Smithey legal team by calling or contacting us online today.