Discrimination

America is the land of opportunity. Everyone should have the ability to seek an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. Unfortunately, many employers hold on to outdated prejudices when it comes to hiring, firing, managing, and disciplining workers. That is why federal and state laws prohibit employers from unfairly treating their employees or potential employees based on certain characteristics or traits. Such discrimination has no place in the workplace. If you have been the victim of such conduct, you need to speak with a qualified Baltimore discrimination lawyer to learn about what steps to take in response.

Am I Protected Under Anti-Discrimination Laws?

The first step in assessing a potential discrimination claim is determining if you are in a legally identified class of protected workers. At The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, L.L.C., we commonly deal with the following types of discrimination claims:

  • Age Discrimination: The Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects workers ages 40 and older.
  • Disability Discrimination: The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodation” to an employee or job applicant who has a disability.
  • Genetic Information: The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which was passed by Congress in 2008, forbids employers from considering a person’s family medical history and other kinds of “genetic information” when making employment decisions.
  • National Origin: An employer cannot implement policies that have the effect of discriminating against people based on their country of origin, their native language, or the fact they speak English with an accent.
  • Pregnancy Discrimination: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act protects women from unfavorable employment treatment based on the fact they are pregnant or recently had a child.
  • Race Discrimination: It is illegal to treat any employee unfavorably because of racial characteristics, including but not limited to, skin color, hair texture, or even the fact they are married to someone of another race.
  • Religious Discrimination: The law not only protects members of traditional religions from discrimination, but anyone who has “sincerely held religious, ethical or moral religious beliefs.”
  • Sex and Gender Discrimination: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act forbids any type of employment discrimination based on sex. Maryland law further prohibits discrimination based on “sexual orientation” or “gender identity,” which includes failure to adhere to traditional gender norms.

What Kinds of Discrimination are Illegal?

Discrimination itself can take many forms. It may not even be immediately obvious that you are a victim of discrimination. Here are some of the things you need to look out for:

  • Equal Pay and Compensation: The law requires men and women be paid the same wage for performing “substantially equal” work. If your employer has a history of paying women less than men in the same positions, that is considered discrimination.
  • Harassment: Not all teasing or unwelcome conduct is considered harassment. But when there is a pattern of “offensive conduct” that is “severe or pervasive enough” to create a hostile work environment, you have the right to take legal action.
  • Retaliation: You have the right to pursue an employment discrimination claim without fear of losing your job or facing internal disciplinary action.

A Baltimore Discrimination Lawyer Can Handle Your Claim

In most cases, if you believe that you have been a victim of employment discrimination, your first step should be to address your complaint internally. If that does not resolve your problem, you then need to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or its corresponding state agency. This is a necessary prerequisite before taking any direct action, i.e. suing your employer.

Baltimore discrimination attorney Jamaal (“Jay”) W. Stafford can help you deal with this potentially confusing regulatory maze and make sure that your case is dealt with in the proper manner. Contact the Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, L.L.C., today at (410) 514-6099 to schedule a consultation and discuss your employment issue with us.