Maryland Employment Lawyer
Sexual Orientation Discrimination In Employment
Sexual orientation is not a protected class under federal legislation. Unlike gender, religion and national origin, it is not illegal, under federal law, to discriminate against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
While such an act has been proposed in Congress, it has not passed. However, although the Federal Government does not provide protection in this matter, both Maryland and the District of Columbia have passed bills that offer protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Maryland passed the Anti-Discrimination Act of 2001, which created the Maryland Commission on Human Relations and charged it with investigating claims of such discrimination. The Commission also has the power to levy fines and resolve disputes through settlement talks. Local ordinances may create more stringent guidelines and provide harsher punishment for discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Because laws regarding sexual orientation discrimination vary in strength and breadth from county to county, it is essential that, if you believe you have been discriminated against, you consult with an attorney regarding the pertinent laws in your area. The District of Columbia and Baltimore City are two areas with particularly strong anti-discrimination laws; even in these areas, however, the laws only reach so far. For example, discrimination in the workplace is prohibited by most anti-discrimination laws, but in Maryland an employer with fewer than 15 employees is not covered by the act. Additionally, religious institutions are often exempt from these acts.
Sexual orientation is a relatively new field of anti-discrimination legislation. Because the field is still in its developmental stages, there are currently no concrete standards that can be applied from location to location. This makes the specific details of each case extremely significant. Anyone who thinks that he or she may have been the victim of sexual orientation discrimination should compile any and all relevant documentation, taking specific note of the location of the incident and the names of involved companies and parties. If you believe you have been discriminated against on the basis of your sexual orientation, you might benefit from a consultation with an attorney at Zipin, Amster & Greenberg.
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If you believe you have been discriminated against on the basis of your sexual orientation, you might benefit from a consultation with a discrimination attorney at Zipin, Amster & Greenberg.