Baltimore Wrongful Termination Attorneys
Have you been wrongfully terminated by your Maryland employer? Baltimore Wrongful Termination Attorney John G. Turnbull can help you get the benefits and compensation you deserve. We invite you to contact us for a free consultation to discuss your wrongful termination in detail with Mr. Turnbull to better understand your legal options.
Maryland Wrongful Termination Laws
The state of Maryland’s Labor Code specifies that an employment relationship with no set duration is presumed to be employment at-will.
According to Maryland law an employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a specified term means an employment for a period greater than one month.
This means that an employer can terminate their employee with or without cause under any circumstances, except for the following reasons:
- National origin
- Disability (mental and physical)
- Medical condition(s)
- Marital status
- Age (for workers over 40)
- Military service or affiliation
- Anticipated military deployment
- Denial of family and medical care leave
- Citizenship status (for citizens, permanent residents, temporary residents)
- Sexual orientation
- Whistleblower Retaliation
- Refusing to break the law
- Reporting unsafe working conditions
- In retaliation for filing a discrimination, safety or workers comp claim
Thus, if your employer wrongfully terminates you based on any of the above reasons, you will have legal standing to bring a civil cause of action against your employer for damages.
The employment at-will status changes if there is an employment contract between the employer and employee that provides specific provisions for termination, or it may also be altered by a labor union contract if applicable.
Maryland Wrongful Termination Lawsuits
Prior to filing a civil lawsuit against your employer for wrongful termination in Maryland, you must first file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or the MD Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
There are two exceptions to this general rule. If your complaint involves age discrimination, you can skip the administrative complaint process altogether and go directly to court (as long as you give EEOC at least 30 days written notice of your intent to go to court).
Also, if your claim involves gender-based pay discrimination and you wish to bring an action under the Equal Pay Act, you can skip the administrative complaint process and file a lawsuit anytime within two years of the day the discrimination occurred (three years if the discrimination is willful).
There are strict filing deadlines so it is important that you promptly file your claim. The EEOC will investigate your claim for wrongful termination and either provide you with a letter stating your right to sue, or dismiss your claim altogether. Once you obtain your “right to sue” letter, you can file a claim in civil court for wrongful termination based on discrimination.
The DFEH also works alongside EEOC to investigate complaints of civil rights violations or discrimination. As a wrongfully terminated employee, you can file your complaint with DFEH (the EEOC and DFEH have a “work sharing agreement” under which a charge filed with one is deemed filed with the other), or directly with EEOC.
People tend to file their claim with the EEOC if they intend to pursue federal employment discrimination claims under Title VII or the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. People will file their claim with the DFEH if they intend to pursue state employment discrimination claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and medical leave claims under Maryland law.
You should consult with an experienced Baltimore wrongful termination attorney prior to filing your EEOC claim or a civil lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your termination, it may be in your best interest to file a lawsuit in federal court versus state court.
In order to win your lawsuit in Maryland for wrongful termination based on discrimination, you will have to prove the following:
- An employment relationship existed between the plaintiff and defendant (example: employee-employer relationship);
- The employee’s employment was terminated by the employer;
- The employee’s protected status (example – race, sexual orientation, national origin) was a substantial motivation for the employer’s decision to terminate their employment status;
- The employee suffered harm as a result of the discriminatory wrongful termination and the employer’s conduct.
If you are considering filing a claim for wrongful termination in Baltimore County or Harford County, Maryland contact Mr. Turnbull for a free consultation. Mr. Turnbull provides legal representation to those living throughout the Essex, Baltimore, Annapolis, Towson and Bel Air, Maryland areas.