Disability Discrimination is Illegal in Baltimore

September 1, 2017
The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford

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According to a 2014 article from The Baltimore Sun, Upper Chesapeake Health System (UCHS) agreed to pay $180,000 to settle a disability discrimination and retaliation claim. The lawsuit was filed by a former employee of the company’s Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that the company failed to provide her with another position after she became disabled. Her medical condition, which affected her vision and hearing, interfered with her previous job tasks.

The plaintiff alleged that the company fired her after she became disabled. She knew this to be the case because she had worked for UCHS for 19 years, and, according to the lawsuit, she had received consistently positive performance reviews and patient feedback for the duration of her employment.

Employment Discrimination Lawsuits

A discrimination claim is a lawsuit alleging that a company treated an employee differently from others because of his or her membership in a protected class. The different treatment violates federal and Maryland employment laws. Discrimination can be based on:

    • Race
    • Gender
    • National origin
    • Sexual orientation
    • Religion
  • Disability

Baltimore disability discrimination is a specific type of discrimination. An employee is treated negatively because he or she has a disability.

Types of Baltimore Disability Discrimination

Disability discrimination may result in termination, lost promotion, or failure to make a reasonable accommodation. It can also mean that an individual is not hired at all because of his or her disability. The most common disability discrimination lawsuits are the result of:

    • Failure to make reasonable accommodations. Assuming that the employee can still perform the essential functions of their job, a disabled employee and their employer are supposed to engage in an interactive process to determine reasonable accommodations that would assist the employee in performing his or her job.  Oftentimes, however, employers will not engage in the interactive process or will simply fire the disabled employee.  This is against the law.
    • Refusing to provide the time off needed under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). An employee may need time off for an injury, pregnancy, or medical condition.  If your employer is subject to FMLA and you qualify for FMLA, you can take up to 12 weeks of protected leave.  Unscrupulous employers, however, are known to terminate employees while on leave or to demote employees to a lower position and to reduce their pay once they return from their protected leave. Without question, this is against the law.  
  • Refusing to provide short-term disability or benefits as required by federal or state employment laws.

Is Every Baltimore Company Subjected to Anti-Discrimination Laws?

No. According to federal law, only companies with 15 or more employees are covered by Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which are two key federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination in the workplace. If you are working for a company with fewer than 15 employees, it is best to contact a disability discrimination lawyer to learn more about your legal options.

The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford is Available to Help You Fight Your Baltimore Disability Discrimination Claim

You know how to do your job and you do it well. You do not have to accept your employer’s discriminatory conduct. At The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, we will fight to protect your rights and to get you the compensation you deserve. You can contact us via our website or via telephone at 410-514-6099.  

(image courtesy of Markus Spiske)