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Maryland Employment Discrimination Questions & Answers
Q: I'm an officer the US Public Health Service station at a Federal Agency. Can I sue for harassment and retaliation?

My supervisor is harassing at work. Just flat out lying. He lied and put me on a PIP and issued me an LOR when all my work was up to date and at the start of a global pandemic when everyone was working from home. No negative counseling in 8 months leading up the PIP and LOR. I filed an EEO... Read more »

Andrellos Mitchell
Andrellos Mitchell answered on Jul 29, 2020

It depends on what statute your are suing under.

Title VII provides that a court, in its discretion, may award reasonable attorneys' fees to the prevailing party. ... That determination is relatively clear when a plaintiff proves his or her discrimination case and a favorable judgment...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: I was doused with hydraulic fluid and diesel fuel while at work. My manager didn't report the incident and I became Ill

After constantly asking my manager to why he didn't report the incident he tells me if I report it I would lose my job..I reported it to regional manager, HR, then the safety coordinator. And filed a workmans compensation claim. What other lawsuits can I file

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on May 26, 2020

Unless there is a third party liable for the accident that resulted in your being doused with hazardous chemicals, e.g., the negligence or product liability of some person or company who is not your employer, then you are limited to workers' compensation for your personal injuries and lost... Read more »

Q: Can I file a suit for personal injury against the Federal government?

I have been harassed by my immediate supervisor for 4 years, I have been to management, Human Resources, union and have even filed an EEO case to no avail. I finally broke and went to a doctor who diagnosed me with severe depression and anxiety and stated I should have no contact with this... Read more »

Eric Todd Kirk
Eric Todd Kirk answered on May 16, 2020

You may have a workers' compensation claim. You should consult with a federal workers' compensation lawyer in a confidential setting.

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination for Maryland on
Q: I am looking for resources with assembling my motion for summary judgment in an discrimination EEO case.

Free software or a template because I am self represented

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Apr 15, 2020

Searching online for examples of summary judgment motions is more likely to be helpful than looking for templates or software. But that is no substitute for legal advice based on the facts of the case and knowledge of the law. Many attorneys in this area of the law would give a free consultation-... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: Is it unlawful for an employer to provide a false reason for placing an employee on administrative leave?

On March 16th, I was informed that members on my team have been laid-off/furloughed due to the epidemic. On March 19th, using my employers Ethics and Compliance Reporting Hotline, I submitted a report of racial discrimination for an issue that had been occurring for several months. The next day,... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Mar 31, 2020

It's not entirely clear what the substantive difference between being on administrative leave and laid off/furloughed would be in this situation. Also, if the entire building was laid off prior to the complaint (or leave request?) being made, it might be difficult to establish a case of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Personal Injury and Sexual Harassment for Maryland on
Q: fired for mistakenly putting on a another person coat simerlar to mine. happen after expressing sexual harassment issue

coat was put on to do a task outside. our simerler coats were hung side by side. not sure if this sounds sensible but to me im still dumbfounded they used this as the reason the get rid of the problem. which all I wanted was the sexural harassment issues to be known so I didnt have to feel... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Mar 10, 2020

Sexual harassment claims (as well as retaliation/wrongful termination claims based on employee complaints about harassment) are very fact-specific and require detailed analysis of the applicable law. There are strict deadlines for filing charges with the EEOC/MCCR, so you should discuss soon with... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Election Law and Employment Discrimination for Maryland on
Q: I interviewed for a position that is a step above my current job. The woman that was hired has no experience

She is the president of the Board and as such was the appointing authority for the director who conducted the interviews. There is a close personal relationship between the two. Do I have any recourse?

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Jan 29, 2020

There isn't generally a civil cause of action for nepotism or conflict of interest for an aggrieved employee. Depending on who the employer is, there might be an internal grievance procedure. Or, if it can be established that there was discrimination against the employee on the basis of a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination for Maryland on
Q: How can I sue my employment for firing me for being on bed rest because I was pregnant

And how much is it gonna cost me to get a lawyer and how do I get the lawsuit filed

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Nov 26, 2019

You may wish to sit down and speak with an employment lawyer. Depending on the size of the employer and how long you worked there, laws like the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and laws preventing discrimination on basis of pregnancy may apply. An employment lawyer should be able to tell you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination for Maryland on
Q: I asked my employer over a month ago to have Sunday off to go to church and they have not done anything as of yet.

What steps should I take next.

L

Andrellos Mitchell
Andrellos Mitchell answered on Aug 20, 2019

First of all you should put your request in writing and explain why you need this day off. If you are going to be taking the same day off on a regular basis maybe you should take leave with pay or leave without pay or just make arrangements not to work on that day.

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Maryland on
Q: If I'm already working for an company, can they fire me if a background check company doesn't provide a timely response

Let's suppose the background check company is the Federal OPM office, and the background check is for a standard public trust level job that doesn't require a secret or top-secret level clearance and that none of the jobs at your work site are classified. Further, Let's suppose the... Read more »

Andrellos Mitchell
Andrellos Mitchell answered on Jul 13, 2019

This sounds like a hypothetical question. An employer can always come up with a reason to deny you a clearance, no matter how high or low the level of the clearance.

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: Job knew I had disability. Sent a letter to say come to work, if no note in 6 days your fired. Was time to short?

I identified as a person with a disability. There was a class coming up I needed to be out for 2 days of a 10 day class for disability. Lead said her and manger discussed my request and said I should rethink going to my appointment, resign or they may terminate me. I was unable to attend that... Read more »

Andrellos Mitchell
Andrellos Mitchell answered on Jun 30, 2019

No, not necessarily. It all depends on the facts, intent, and motivation of your employer, as well as whether or not you followed the law on requesting a reasonable accommodation. The employer knowing you are disabled is not enough. You must make a request for a reasonable accommodation, your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Maryland on
Q: Im a federal supervisor. I manage a staff of 8. One of my employees is harassing me with frivolous emails and demanding

Over the last 2 years I have given this employee a letter of reprimand, a PIP, and a proposal for a seven day suspension. My upper level supervisor failed to sign off on the suspension. My upper level supervisor has promised over the last year that this employee would be moved. After a few month of... Read more »

Andrellos Mitchell
Andrellos Mitchell answered on May 20, 2019

Just based on what you have presented I can't advise you. It requires meeting to discuss the case, review of paperwork, and research. However, it sounds like you may be open to getting in trouble with upper level management and should hire counsel to protect your rights.

Q: Is it ethical for an employer to have 1 person who does Human Resources for the entire office inccluding the hiring,

Firing an the disciplinarian, a supervisor to some and the payroll person? I feel it’s very bias but I am not sure if under (Maryland) state law it’s considered legal or ethical? Also, is it ethical or legal for an employer to tell you they are going to deny the a workers conp claim before you... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Feb 20, 2019

There is nothing illegal about only having one HR staff person. If an employer complies with the laws and regulations applicable to it, that's all that matters. It's just difficult to do without professional help, as the workers comp incident illustrates. Employers can't retaliate... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Maryland on
Q: My employer in Montgomery County md is refusing to put in my accrued sick pay while Im on maternity leave. What can I do

I have already spoken to them once about how they’re messing up my finances at home, and they still won’t put in the paid sick leave forms I’ve given them.

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Nov 20, 2018

Maryland employers (that have at least 15 employees) are required to offer only unpaid maternity leave, under the Parental Leave Act. However, under the Maryland Flexible Leave Act, those employers must allow employees on unpaid leave to care for a newborn to elect to use their earned/accrued PTO... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Sexual Harassment for Maryland on
Q: I am being sexually and mental harrassed by my employer

He send me in appropriate texts messages with a provacotive outfit attached to the text. He calls me a xxx ..and this is just a little bit of what's going on.

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Oct 2, 2018

Make sure to document your encounters with the employer, and save all of the inappropriate/harassing texts (preferably on a separate device from your phone). You should speak with an employment/labor attorney about the facts of your case.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination for Maryland on
Q: As a state employee I was injured on the job when my supervisor assigned me a lifting task that significantly exceeded

OSHA lifting guidelines. I was already currently in treatment for a work back injury when I was assigned the new task. My supervisor and personnel officer had already warned me that if I refused any assignments I would be disciplined. I was sent to the State Medical Director for a workability eval.... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Sep 25, 2018

If you have a workers comp attorney, they should be able to help you with that. If you don't, you should get one. Generally speaking, you do have a right to see what is in your personnel file.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination for Maryland on
Q: What is a company allowed to ask when an employee requests a religious accommodation?

I have requested a religious accommodation, I have provided my religion and my place of worship but they are asking me to provide the leaders name and email and I feel this is way too personal. Are they allowed to ask this?

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Aug 30, 2018

The employer needs to have an objective basis to doubt the sincerity of your religious beliefs. But if they do, they can ask for more information. How much information they can ask for is not a bright line- but them asking for contact info is definitely approaching that line, if not crossing it.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: Can in employer deny your job and say you’re not qualified if in the requirements section it does not state it

I applied to a position and it said I was not qualified based off of not having a high school diploma because I’m still in school.it is not stated in the requirements section of the job description that was sent by the company The district manager and human resources manager told me I would get... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Aug 13, 2018

The job description is not definitive when it comes to the question of who is qualified to do the job. It can be strong evidence of what the employer considers qualified, but it is not a contract. But the larger issue is that the employer is not bound by their promise to promote you when you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: Is it legal for your employer to get video surveillance and proof of purchase receipts from another establishment?

My partner was the only person terminated from her job (out of 4)when the company was told employees were seen consuming alcohol on lunch break at a restaurant. An employee of walmart went to the location and confiscated receipts and video prooving the employees were drinking. Despite the other 3... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Aug 7, 2018

There does not appear to be anything wrong or illegal about gathering the surveillance video and receipts. However, if the only employee that was fired was not drinking (the video should back this up)- and the only one fired- this could potentially be a discrimination claim. Your partner should... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: I applied for a promotion with the company and was turned down for the job and someone was hired but was asked to do the

job but was not offered any additional compensation even though I was told I was not qualified. I spoke to the manager regarding possibly discussing compensation for the office management responsibility that I have been doing for the past 9 months and was ultimately accused of something I did not... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Aug 2, 2018

There are too many unknown factors involved here for a comprehensive answer. Generally, an employer can ask you to do additional tasks without an increase in pay. You suggest that there could be discrimination involved, but provide no basis on which to evaluate whether there is any sort of... Read more »

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