How To File A Charge Of Discrimination Or Retaliation
If you believe you’ve been discriminated against on the basis of your race, national origin, religion, color, and/or gender, or other protected category, you can file a “Charge” of discrimination with a U.S., Maryland, or local civil rights agency to have it investigated and seek a remedy.
If you do not file a Charge of discrimination within 180 days under Maryland law or 300 days under federal law, you give up the related legal rights under Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act and Maryland’s equivalent.
The categories protected against discrimination in Maryland, under Maryland law, include the above as well as the categories of marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and any other discrete status. For information about Md. Code, Ann., St. Gov. 20-606.
However, the discrimination categories listed here are not exhaustive. For instance, age and disability are protected categories under U.S. and Maryland law. For a more thorough list as well as an exploration of what these mean, it is best to consult a qualified lawyer.
Once you’ve spoken to a lawyer, the next step is to begin the process of filing the Charge. To file a Charge of Discrimination in the State of Maryland, you can choose to file it with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights and/or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They are located here:
1. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
GH Fallon Federal Building
31 Hopkins Plaza, Suite 1432
Baltimore, MD 21201
2. Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (“MCCR”)
William Donald Schaefer Tower
6 Saint Paul Street, Suite 900
Baltimore, MD 21202-1631
You can also file Charges of Retaliation with the above agencies too. Retaliation means an employer demotes, reduces someone’s pay, fires, or takes some other kind of (significant) adverse employment action against an employee because the same employee has made a good faith complaint about discrimination, opposed discrimination, or otherwise engage in “protected activity” (a legal term).
Both Title VII of The 1964 Civil Rights Act and Maryland’s Human Relations anti-discrimination laws apply only to employers with “15 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.” Md. Code, Ann., St. Gov. § 20-601(d)(2020); accord 42 U.S. Code § 2000e(b).
If the employer is smaller, you may need to contact the local civil rights office of your Maryland County or Baltimore City.
Harassment Claims in Maryland, Expanded:
That being said, Maryland recently expanded its jurisdiction over harassment.
The State law applies to discriminatory harassment, and possibly also retaliatory harassment, by any employer in the State with one or more employees. It also includes conduct by an “agent” of this employer so as to hold an employer accountable. Md. Code, Ann., St. Gov. § 20-601(d)(2020).
If you’ve been a victim of discrimination or retaliation and want to take necessary action, reach out to Gregg H. Mosson at Mosson Law, LLC. As an employment and family law attorney in Towson, MD, I can help you protect your rights and ensure equal treatment under the law.
I have years of experience and focus on representing employees in claims of illegal discrimination, retaliation, disability rights violations, wrongful termination, and owed wages. I prosecute legal claims under the Americans for Disabilities Act, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Family Medical Leave Act; concerning age, gender, national origin and race discrimination; Maryland’s wage and discrimination laws, unemployment benefits, and under Maryland common law.
Please note, Maryland and U.S. law changes. Further, legal advice is specific to someone’s actual problems at hand. So, this article is not legal advice for you, but hopefully helpful general information.
Aside from employment law services, my areas of practice include family law and select civil litigation. The first step with my office always is a legal consultation.
Gregg H. Mosson, Esq.
Mosson Law, LLC