Regular readers might well recall that we not long ago wrote about the kinds of discrimination workers are protected from in Maryland. We noted that workers can’t be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race, age, religion and sexual orientation, among other things.
When an employee complains about discrimination, either to company management or with the help of an employment law attorney to outside officials, employers are prohibited from retaliating against the employee afterwards. However, the Washington Post reports that retaliation claims against Maryland and Washington D.C. employers are soaring.
Between 2009 and 2013, the Post reports, “retaliation charges jumped 16 percent in the District, 52 percent in Maryland and 18 percent in Virginia, according to EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) statistics.” The upward trend isn’t confined to our area: nationwide, a record 38,539 retaliation claims were filed last year.
This year, there have been several large settlements involving retaliatory termination, including a $42,000 settlement involving a Hagerstown trucking company. A female trucker was apparently fired there after complaining that female drivers make less than male peers.
An Annapolis receptionist was reportedly fired after complaining about pregnancy discrimination. Her settlement was for $22,500.
And a company manager who reported sexual harassment against female employees was apparently fired after speaking up; the settlement was reportedly $200,000.
Maryland residents who believe they have been fired in retaliation for making harassment or discrimination claims against a supervisor or their employer should speak with a Greenbelt attorney well-versed in our state’s employment law protections.