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Discrimination claims target Rockville, Maryland

The city of Rockville is currently facing two separate employment discrimination lawsuits that accuse the Maryland city of taking illegal actions against a current and former city employer, both of whom are black. It is unclear how much compensation the claims seek, but a successful discrimination lawsuit can result in orders for employers to provide their workers with thousands of dollars in damages.

The plaintiff behind the first of the two race discrimination suits, who was formerly employed as a high-ranking official for Rockville's inspection services, claims that a number of white employees received higher wages than he did despite his superior rank. Additionally, the former official alleges that his employment was wrongfully terminated due to his race.

In the second claim, a current Rockville public works employee argues that his managers retaliated against him after he voiced concerns over one manager's use of the Confederate flag on his clothes, phone and a work vehicle -- signs the plaintiff viewed as outwardly racist. The claim adds that subsequent complaints regarding racism lead other Rockville city employees to vandalize his truck. The city has yet to issue a full response to the allegations against it.

Rockville has faced similar legal action in the past, paying $190,000 to a group of attorneys to evaluate harassment and discrimination complaints. According to their report, the attorneys found no evidence that any city officials engaged in "unlawful conduct." One of the plaintiffs rejected that claim and suggested that the report's writers intentionally ignored or concealed pertinent information. The city says it is unable to release the full report to the public, explaining that the information therein is confidential.

Dealing with claims of harassment or discrimination can be a difficult endeavor for Maryland businesses and government agencies, especially if those cases go to court. As such, any employer facing accusations of discrimination, retaliatory action or other offenses should speak with a qualified lawyer to learn more about his or her options.

Source:  Rockville Patch, "Report: Rockville Sued For Racial Discrimination" Tiffany Arnold, Jun. 05, 2013

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