Cases Under 2007 Anti-discrimination Amendment Now Hitting Maryland Courts

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By this time, most employers are aware that Maryland's anti-discrimination law was substantially amended last fall to create a private cause of action under Article 49B in state court. While the law became effective in October 2007, an aggrieved employee must wait 180 days from the filing of an administrative charge to file an action in court. These cases, therefore, are just beginning to rear their heads in Maryland state courts. Given the increased exposure for employers under Article 49B (state law prohibits discrimination on the basis of familial status, marital status, sexual orientation, and genetic information and testing, and it allows age discrimination suits by people younger than 40), and the fact that it may be more difficult to obtain a victory in state court, employers need to take appropriate steps to minimize the risks.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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