The relationship between an employee and an employer should always be a professional one. Employers should respect their employees, and treat them with dignity, fairness, and equality. There are many ways that this relationship can turn sour when employers abuse their workers, disregard their rights, and take advantage of them. If you have been taken advantage of or had your rights violated as an employee, talk to an attorney.
The Law Practice of Ken C. Gauvey fight for employees to help protect their jobs and keep them free from harassment, discrimination, and unjust employment decisions. If you have been harassed at work, cheated out of wages, unfairly discharged, or subject to harsh working conditions, call an attorney today.
Baltimore Workers Rights
Workers and employees in Maryland have a number of rights. These come from a combination of federal laws, Maryland state laws, and even local ordinances in Baltimore and the surrounding areas. These laws work to protect employees in various categories. These rights could be grouped many ways, but it might be helpful to think of them as rights related to the workplace, wages, the person, or termination.
Employees are entitled to a reasonably safe, clean, and healthy workplace. Employers who allow their workers to do their job with minimal safety gear, unclean work conditions, conditions that are too hot or too cold, or who otherwise fail to provide reasonable work places may be held accountable for these issues. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the US government creates standards that every worksite in the country must follow. Violating requirements that employees have access to bathrooms, proper training (in their spoken language), and reasonable breaks can be a serious offense.
If you have a physical disability, your employer must also make reasonable efforts to accommodate you. Wheelchair accessibility, handicap accessible bathrooms, and general workplace safety all create a better work environment for those with disabilities, and failing to provide some accessibility may be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
You are entitled to at least minimum wage for any job where you work as an employee. Deciding who is an “employee,” as opposed to an independent contractor usually comes down to a few elements. You are generally an employee if your employer controls what you do at work, and how and where you do it. If you are hired to perform a singular task, then left to your own leadership, you might be an independent contractor rather than an employee.
As an employee, you are entitled to a minimum wage of $9.25 per hour worked in 2017, according to Maryland laws. Full-time employees might also be entitled to medical and other benefits. In addition, there are many federal laws that dictate breaks and paid leave. Especially for pregnant women and new mothers, your employer may not be able to legally deny you time off.
Under dozens of federal and state laws, you are entitled to legal protections as a citizen of Maryland and a citizen of the United States. Many of these rules prevent discrimination, entitle you to collective bargaining, and prevent retaliation from your employer.
It is illegal for employers to discriminate in Maryland based on certain factors, such as race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. Additionally, it is illegal to discriminate based on disabilities, pregnancy, and other circumstances.
In certain industries and under certain circumstances, you might be entitled to the right to unionize or otherwise work together with your co-workers to demand changes. If your employer prevents this collective bargaining or fires people for collectivization, you might be entitled to damages.
Lastly, if you report your employer for illegal activity or other violations, your employer cannot retaliate against you. Any animosity in the workplace stemming from your claims might be illegal and entitle you to damages.
Most employees are “at will” employees in Maryland. This means that they can be fired for any reason – as long as that reason is not against the law. Other laws still provide protection from wrongful termination.
As mentioned, discrimination and retaliation are illegal in Maryland. Similarly, the decision to fire someone, not hire someone, or not promote someone based on their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation is pure discrimination. Additionally, it is completely illegal to fire someone because they failed to return sexual advances, because they refused to perform illegal activities, or because they were fulfilling other legal obligations (such as obeying a court order).
Baltimore, Maryland Employment Lawyer
The Law Practice of Ken C. Gauvey fights to defend the rights of employees whose rights have been violated by their employers. The rights listed above are far from the only employee rights you have in Maryland. If you have been wronged by your boss, call today for a free consultation on your case. Call 443-692-7685 for your free, confidential consultation on your case
Columbia, MD 21046