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Maryland woman files sexual orientation discrimination claim

A 29-year-old Maryland woman has accused her former employer of firing her on the basis of her sexual orientation, as well as failing to take appropriate measures to prevent abuse from her coworkers. The woman worked at a home for young girls who have suffered abuse and trauma. She also claims the home was hostile environment for several "gender non-conforming girls" staying there.

According to Maryland law, employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is illegal. As such, the woman filed her complaint with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights and the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. According to the complaint, the woman was placed on probation in 2011 and told that she must refrain from speaking about her wife to keep her job at the home. She was fired three months later. Her employers would not comment on the case, but claimed that the woman's sexual orientation was not what prompted her termination.

Although not directly related to her termination, the woman claimed that she was also the target of mocking from her colleagues. She alleges that one coworker informed her that it was "simply wrong to be gay." Additionally, the claim alleges that several girls staying at the home suffered discrimination.

The woman reportedly wished to help several girls acquire less feminine clothes in accordance with their gender identities. However, she was told that doing so was forbidden, despite the fact that her coworkers regularly gave the girls overtly feminine clothes to wear. Administrators reportedly told one girl she could not paint a rainbow mural on one of the home's wall because it would be seen as a symbol of gay pride. They also allegedly ordered another resident to remove a gay pride poster from her bedroom.

Maryland residents who have been wrongfully terminated or suffered employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, religion, race, age, sex or national origin should contact an experienced attorney to find out more about how they might be compensated for their employers' illegal actions.

Source: Advocate, "Two Gay Employees Fired and Fighting Back," Michelle Garcia, June 6, 2012

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