Experienced Silver Spring Discrimination Lawyer Ready To Serve You
Silver Spring is a great place to call home. Residents are close to the D.C. area, making it a short commute for many who work in the nation’s capital. And while D.C. is just a short drive away, residents of Silver Spring get to enjoy a more family-oriented atmosphere that boasts:
- a renovated downtown area,
- great shopping at Beacon Market,
- a designated Arts & Entertainment District,
- many outdoor festivals like the Ethiopian Day Festival and the Latin Heritage Festival, and
- several spacious outdoor venues including Fiddler Lane Park, Juniper Blair Park, and Ellsworth Urban Park.
And while living and working in our area has many benefits, discrimination in the workplace is still a fact of life for some. If that has become an issue in your life, you need to turn to an experienced Silver Spring discrimination attorney who can help you get your life back on track.
How Do I Know If I’ve Been Discriminated Against?
Workplace discrimination can happen in a number of ways. So if you suspect that you have been discriminated against, the only way to know for certain is to speak with an experienced Silver Spring discrimination attorney. As a general rule, employees in Maryland cannot be discriminated against due to any of the following factors:
- Ancestry or National Origin
- Sex (including childbirth and related medical issues)
- Gender Identification
- Sexual Orientation
- Marital Status
- Disability (physical or mental)
- Genetic Information
Furthermore, it is unlawful for you to be subjected to harassment based on being a member of any of the above-protected classes or for having a relationship with a member of any of these classes. For example, we all know that sexual harassment is illegal. But if you are married to someone who suffers from a mental disorder or who is from a different race or religion, you cannot be harassed or discriminated against due to that relationship.
Retaliation for filing a complaint or being involved in any discrimination investigation is also illegal. So if you believe that you fit any of the above qualifiers, it’s time to speak with a legal practitioner to find out about your legal rights.
Digging a Little Deeper into Discrimination Law in Silver Spring, MD
It is interesting to note that it is discriminatory to make assumptions about an employee (or potential employee) based on any of the factors listed above. So, for instance, it would be illegal for an employer to assume that a person with a disability could or could not do a particular job simply because of that disability. This holds true for any of the protected classes. So if you feel that an employer has made assumptions about you based on age, sex, gender, race, religion, etc., and denied you anything from benefits to promotions because of it, you may have a case.
Likewise, it is illegal for employers to show a preference for a “certain type” of employee when they are recruiting. Employers cannot express any preference based on age, sex, etc., in their hiring policies or advertisements.
Wrongful Discharge Claims
When you are terminated from a company based on issues relating to any of the protected classes, you may have a case for wrongful discharge. This is an interesting area of employment law because Maryland is an “at-will” employment state. At first glance, that term may appear to imply that employers can fire an employee for any reason or for no reason at all.
On its face, that is exactly what the term means. However, there are certain lines that no employer can cross, and that is the intersection where “at-will” employment and discrimination meet. An employer cannot fire an employee just because that employer decides that they don’t want people of a certain race or religion at their company. Despite the “at-will” status of employment in Silver Spring, discrimination is never tolerated legally.
Other Types of Wrongful Discharge Claims
Other than discrimination, what behaviors can result in a valid claim for wrongful termination in an “at-will” state like Maryland?
- Breach of Actual Contract: There are some industries where employment contracts are used. And if you entered into an employment contract when you accepted your job, then both you and your employer are bound by the terms spelled out in your contract. This means that if your employer terminates you for any reason that is contrary to the terms of your contract, you likely have a good claim for wrongful termination. You will need help from a highly-skilled discrimination lawyer.
- Breach of Implied Contract: This one may not be as obvious, but it is valid. There are times when an employer will make assertions at the time of hiring that amount to an oral implied contract. For instance, if your employer told you at the time of hiring that, as long as you keep up with your patient caseload, you would not be fired – this could be the equivalent of an oral contract. If you do, in fact, keep up with your caseload and are fired anyway, you may have a case for wrongful termination. Even employee handbooks can contain phrases that can be construed by the court to be an implied contract and may, therefore, be enforceable.
Speak to a Silver Spring Discrimination Lawyer Today
If you believe that you have been discriminated against in the workplace due to your inclusion in a protected class, it is in your very best interest to speak to an experienced discrimination attorney today. At the Smithey Law Group LLC, we stand ready to fight for you. With a combined 45 years of experience, we have the knowledge that it takes to get you the results you deserve.
We also represent our clients with 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 Harassment
- Wage and Hour Issues
- WARN Act Violations
- Workplace Privacy
- Wrongful Discharge
- Certified Mediator in Employment Disputes
To set up an appointment with one of our Silver Spring discrimination lawyers, call or contact us online today.