The state of Maryland boasts a population of over 5.6 million, according to a 2008 census estimate. Its culture borrows attributes from Southern and Mid-Atlantic states. Maryland is famous for its crab fisheries and, due to its proximity to the nation’s capital Washington D.C., the state also supports a variety of government agencies and initiatives. The capital city, Baltimore, is home to Johns Hopkins University as well as a large number of small businesses, biotech firms, fishing and maritime companies, and tourism and research operations. Western Maryland is very different demographically from urban Baltimore and relies on an agrarian-fueled economy. Per a 2006 estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Maryland rakes in a gross state product of over $ 250 billion.
The Division of Labor and Industry oversees Maryland’s labor standards. Wage and hour laws are spelled out in the state law, Title 3, subtitles four and five. The Division of Labor and Industry regulates, educates, administrates, and enforces state laws that prohibit workplace discrimination, wage and hour violations, retaliation practices and other unfair practices. According to both state and federal law, it is illegal for a Maryland employer to discriminate against members of protected classes; if an employer does actively discriminate, he/she and/or his/her company can be liable for damages, including wages lost.
Ever since receiving the infamous designation as “the homicide capital of the US” in the 1990, Baltimore (Maryland’s largest city) has suffered a spate of bad press. The hit drama series, The Wire, depicted Baltimore as an ethically splintered dystopia and highlighted the many inequalities inner-city residents can and do sometimes face. Unfortunately, many Maryland workers who’ve suffered harassment or discrimination do not know enough about their rights to get their employers to stop and to seek compensation for unfair practices, such as:
- Overtime violations. The law designates specific requirements for who should receive overtime pay and when. When employers willfully misclassify workers, keep false time records, or compel employees to perform work “off the clock,” they are breaking the law.
- Sexual harassment. Whether it comes from a coworker or supervisor, employers have an obligation to protect workers against unwanted sexual advances, “quid pro quo” ultimatums, and lewd or inappropriate speech or behavior in the workplace. Such hostile behaviors have no place in a modern professional environment.
- Sarbanes Oxley claims. After the fraud scandals at WorldCom and Enron in the early 2000s, this law was enacted to protect workers reporting suspected or observed fraud. This helps individuals keep their jobs and reputations when they speak out.
If you witnessed or experienced such violations in the workplace, you may be frightened to report this behavior or pursue legal action. When employers fail to act in the best interests of their employees, they damage the working environment for their companies and create legal, ethical and moral challenges for people caught in the middle.
To gain insightful assistance with your potential Maryland discrimination, search for a local employment attorney today.