Wrongful Termination in Baltimore, MD
What Is Wrongful Termination?
Any employer has discretion over the hiring and firing of employees. Still, there are certain circumstances where a worker can file for wrongful termination. Termination becomes wrongful when it violates Maryland law, federal law, or an employment agreement. Being fired from a job is never easy. A dedicated wrongful termination lawyer understands your rights as an employee and will fight to protect them.
According to the Maryland Department of Labor, Baltimore employees work at the will of their employers. This is the case whenever there is no contract, agreement, or policy to the contrary. However, there are exceptions that make some terminations illegal. Some of the reasons for which your employer cannot fire you include:
- Discrimination on the basis of your membership in a class under protections. Race, sex, gender, etc.
- In retaliation for your filing a complaint or reporting violations
- For filing a worker’s compensation claim
- Taking time off for jury duty of military service
Types of Wrongful Termination
In Baltimore, there are many different instances where wrongful termination can take place. In some cases, an employer is ignorant of labor laws and may not even realize they have erred. This is why big corporations rely on human resources experts. You should always turn to an attorney if you suspect you have been wrongfully terminated. In the following paragraphs are some of the red flags that you should watch out for.
Limitations of At-Will Employment
Because one of the most common forms of employment is at-will, there are limitations to this. At-will employment doesn’t allow an employer to fire a person for any discriminatory reason. State, federal, or local Baltimore laws prohibit these reasons.
Maryland is one of the states that does not have any Right to Work laws. This means that your Baltimore employer can require you to pay union fees or dues as a condition of your employment. However, Baltimore employees receive coverage by the National Labor Relations Act, which prohibits the requirement of union membership.
An employer also can’t fire an employee as a form of retaliation for reporting any illegal activities within the company. Were you fired for any of these reasons? If so, you may be able to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against your employer.
Discrimination is one of the most common forms of wrongful termination. When an employee is fired because of their race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, pregnancy, age, or disability, it violates established laws meant to protect specific personal characteristics. There are also some states that prohibit employers from discriminating based on the gender identity or the sexual orientation of their employees.
If you believe that you have been penalized or fired in Baltimore for one of these discriminatory reasons listed above, you may be able to file a claim with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. An experienced Baltimore, MD attorney can walk you through the process to help ensure the best possible outcome.
Your employer can’t fire you for certain protected activities. For example, your employer can’t fire you for taking medical leave, or for participating in an investigation of job violations and wage violations. Additionally, filing a complaint with the EEOC, or informing your employer about discrimination or harassment, are not fireable offenses.
Maryland has several laws that protect employees from retaliation when they report violations by their employer. The Healthcare Workers Whistleblower Protection Act, the State Executive Branch Whistleblower Law, and the Labor Code all contain provisions that make retaliatory terminations unlawful.
There are some states that also prevent employee termination for taking time off to vote, perform jury duties, or serve in the military. You also have some protection if your employer has fired you for reporting a violation of safety laws or environmental regulations.
What To Do If You’ve Been Wrongfully Terminated In Baltimore, Maryland
Have you been wrongfully terminated? You may be entitled to compensatory damages, reinstatement, back pay, and other forms of relief. However, the exact definition of wrongful termination will depend on where you live. To find out, contact a dedicated and qualified wrongful termination lawyer. Discuss your circumstances and the laws that your employer has to follow in your area.
Remember that there are usually time constraints on how long you can wait to file your claim, so don’t delay. This could cause evidence to slip through your fingers or you may miss the deadline altogether. You want a favorable outcome and so will your lawyer, so try to approach your case as proactively as possible, even before you are certain you have one.
If you are filing a discrimination complaint on the basis of Maryland law, you must do so within 6 months of the violation. However, you must file federal complaints, on the basis of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, within 180 days.
Step One: Gather Evidence
It’s important to start gathering all the evidence you can, no matter how small. Ideally, you had reason to suspect that your employer might terminate you wrongfully and started the process some time before. If you need to return to the office to clear out your desk or still have access to the work email, use the opportunity wisely. However, be mindful of any employment agreements or confidentiality issues.
Step Two: Find an Attorney
Hiring an experienced Baltimore, MD wrongful termination lawyer will help you take the first steps so that you make a strong case to get the outcome you seek. Baltimore employment laws are intricate and are constantly changing. Therefore, you should always work with an attorney who focuses on this specific area.
Step Three: File a Complaint
If you have not yet had your case reviewed by an attorney, the EEOC built a self-evaluation tool to help you decide if filing a claim with them is an appropriate way to handle your case. An attorney simplifies this part of the process by helping you to write the complaint. You serve your employer notice. Then, the resolution process starts there. Note that not all cases make it to a courtroom as some employers prefer to settle.
If your Baltimore employer has at least 15 employees, they are subject to state discrimination laws. In this case, you can file a complaint through the State of Maryland Commission on Civil Rights. Alternatively, you can file a federal claim with the EEOC. Baltimore employees are within the Philadelphia district of the EEOC. Fortunately, there is a field office in Baltimore.
Why You Should Hire a Wrongful Termination Lawyer in Baltimore, Maryland
Filing a wrongful termination lawsuit in Baltimore, Maryland can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve been treated unfairly by your employer. Speaking to an experienced lawyer can help you to understand what legal rights you have as a victim and if your case is applicable for wrongful termination. For some people, the opportunity to finally be heard also helps to ease the burden they’ve been carrying.
We understand that finding the right attorney can be hard. This is why we created our service to connect clients in need with experienced attorneys. To match with the right lawyer, you simply provide your location, category, and some other additional information. We then send you your options as soon as they are available.
Our company charges no fees to connect you with the legal services you need. Some Baltimore attorneys or practice areas may require legal fees upfront, but there are many that do not. Some professionals may not charge a single penny at all until they win your case.
Are you ready to find a qualified Baltimore attorney who can help you fight for your job or get justice for the wrongful termination you suffered?
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