In Maryland and D.C., employers can generally terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason. However, this does not mean that employers can fire employees for unlawful reasons such as because of discrimination based on race, gender, age, disability, religion, or another protected class; as a form of retaliation for taking sick leave under the FMLA; due to complaints about wage and hour law violations; when the employer has breached the terms of an employment contract; or other similar issues.
Which Employees Are Protected in Maryland?
In Maryland, various laws protect employees' rights and ensure a safe and fair working environment.
While the specific protections can vary depending on the circumstances, here are some categories of employees who are generally protected in Maryland:
- All Employees: All employees, regardless of their occupation or industry, are protected by federal and state laws against workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. These laws include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), among others.
- Minimum Wage Workers: Maryland has its own minimum wage laws that set the minimum hourly wage rate for workers. As of January 1, 2024, the minimum wage in Maryland is set to be $15 per hour for all employers.
- Unionized Employees: The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects the rights of employees to engage in collective bargaining and form labor unions. Employees in Maryland have the right to join or form a union and engage in concerted activities for mutual aid and protection.
- Whistleblowers: Maryland has laws in place to protect employees who report illegal or unethical activities in the workplace. The Maryland Whistleblower Law safeguards employees from retaliation when they disclose certain types of misconduct.
- Injured Workers: Maryland's workers' compensation laws provide benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. These laws ensure that injured workers receive medical treatment and compensation for lost wages.
If you have been wrongfully terminated from your job, you may have legal recourse against your employer. An experienced wrongful termination lawyer in Maryland can help you assess your claim and protect your rights.
How Our Maryland Wrongful Termination Attorneys Can Help
At Melehy & Associates LLC, we understand that employment litigation can be a complex and expensive undertaking. That's why we take a different approach to handling these cases. Our firm is focused on helping employees, which means we have the experience and knowledge to get our clients the best possible results. And because we work on a contingency basis, our clients don't have to pay anything unless we win their case. We're not interested in settling cases for less than they’re worth - we fight for our clients and work hard to get them the compensation they are due.
Were You Wrongfully Terminated in Maryland or Washington D.C.?
“Wrongful termination” is a term that can be broken down into several categories. These include:
- Discrimination: discrimination claims involve allegations that an employer terminated an employee because of their race, religion, gender, or other protected characteristic.
- Retaliation: retaliation claims allege that an employer terminated an employee in response to the employee engaging in a protected activity, such as reporting sexual harassment.
- Breach of contract: Breach of contract claims arise when an employer terminates an employee in violation of an agreement between the two parties.
While each type of claim requires its own unique proof, all claims of wrongful termination share one common goal: to hold employers accountable for their unlawful conduct.
Signs That You are a Victim of Wrongful Termination in Maryland or Washington D.C.
Wrongful termination can be difficult to prove. Without direct evidence, such as an employer admitting to discriminatory intent, you may need to rely on circumstantial evidence to make your case. That is why hiring a seasoned lawyer can be crucial to the success of wrongful termination cases in Maryland and Washington D.C.
Signs that your termination may have been wrongful include:
- Being replaced by someone of a different race or if you are told that the company is downsizing when they are hiring new employees.
- Being dismissed after refusing sexual advances
- Being dismissed after refusing to participate in illegal activity, filing a discrimination claim, or revealing you have a disability
- Your employer has made disparaging remarks towards a class you belong to
- Your quality of work has remained the same, however, the evaluation of your work has begun to decline sharply
- You were dismissed after voicing concerns about illegal practices
Of course, these are just a few examples and circumstantial evidence is not always conclusive. However, if you have been wrongfully terminated, it is important to seek legal counsel to explore your options and determine the best course of action.
If you think you may have been wrongfully terminated, contact our wrongful termination lawyer in Maryland. We'll handle your case with an eye toward getting you the best possible outcome. Call (301) 205-5276 today.
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