Prince George’s County Discrimination Attorneys Are Here to Help
Located right next to the national government seat of the United States – Washington D.C. – Historic Prince George’s County has many firsts in its long and glorious history. It was where Samuel Morse experimented with the first telegraph and the first telegraph line in the country. Prince George’s County has a lot of firsts when it comes to aviation too. It is the site of the:
- First U.S. Postal Air Mail Service
- Oldest continuously operating airport – College Park Airport
- Army’s first flying school
- First space flight center for NASA
Unfortunately, even though Prince George’s County also boasts of being the home of the first African American operated and owned airport in the United States, discrimination because of race and other factors is still an issue in Prince George’s County.
Maryland’s Stand against Discrimination
To combat discriminatory practices in all areas of life, the Maryland Office of the Attorney General has stepped up its efforts in recent years. In 2017, the office created the first attorney-led Civil Rights Division. The following are just a few of the new reforms that have recently been put into place and enforced by this new division.
Discriminatory Profiling – a Guidance Memorandum
The Guidance Memorandum for Ending Discriminatory Profiling in Maryland was issued as one of the first civil rights initiatives by Attorney General Brian Frosh. It is a guide for law enforcement that directs officers to act in a neutral manner with respect to race, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, and religion when suspecting someone of criminal activity. It acknowledges that our “intuition” is often riddled with inherent biases that we may not even be aware of, and that when officers act on this “intuition,” it can result in significant injustice. The basic principle is that law enforcement must treat these characteristics as a descriptor, not as a predictor. In other words, law enforcement can put out an all-points bulletin that describes a suspect with racial, gender-oriented, or ethnic words – but they may not treat a suspect any differently based on such factors.
LGBTQ Rights against Violence
Early in 2018, the US Department of Justice proposed that law enforcement agencies stop data collection efforts regarding violence against LGBTQ youth. It is the stance of the Maryland Office of the Attorney General that data collection on violence against these vulnerable young people is a critical component in any law enforcement attempt to stem the tide of abuse. In May of 2018, this office issued its stance opposing the termination of this activity and urged the DOJ to reverse its position on the matter.
Hate Crimes Guidance
Another guidance that was issued by the Attorney General in February 2020, was the Strategies for Responding to Hate Crimes and Bias Incidents. The purpose of this guidance was to assist community members in understanding Maryland’s laws against hate crimes, to help them determine the difference between hate crimes and hate bias, and to learn the proper procedure for reporting incidents.
Maryland’s State Government Article §20-602 states that every resident of Maryland is guaranteed equal opportunity when it comes to employment and labor relations regardless of:
- Ancestry or national origin,
- Sexual orientation,
- Marital status,
- Gender identity,
- Genetic information, or
This means that employers cannot discriminate in any employment situation, including setting working conditions, interviewing, hiring, discharging, or promoting their personnel. Furthermore, employment agencies cannot ask discriminatory questions or provide unlawful discriminatory information about applicants to employers, labor organizations cannot discriminate by denying membership based on any discriminatory factors, and the media cannot discriminate in publishing job advertisements.
Maryland’s State Government Article §20-702 covers fair housing policies that prohibit discrimination on any of the factors listed above and adds a prohibition on discrimination based on family status or source of income.
Here are a few additional prohibitions:
- Setting conditions for home loans that are discriminatory
- Requesting information about family planning practices or birth control
- Committing acts of intimidation, harassment, or violence against individuals or families or their residential property
- Refusing to allow a qualified renter to rent a dwelling
- Usage of terms that are discriminatory when selling or renting
When You Need to Assert Your Rights, Our Prince George’s County Discrimination Lawyers Are Here for You
The Prince George’s County discrimination attorneys at the Smithey Law Group LLC are ready to fight for you. If you believe that you have been discriminated against, allow our attorneys to put their years of experience to work for you. Call us now, or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today.