I was removed from a specific assignment at work and when I asked the new manager why, he stated because he didn't want girls doing that particular job. I then contacted HR, whom tried to convince me that his statement was more discriminatory towards men rather than women, but assured me that they would handle the situation. Upon returning to work my manager pulled me into the office and told me how disrespectful I was to break the chain of commands and go over his head to HR. (Afterwards, HR told me that wasn't true and that I could contact them anytime I felt necessary) I then apologized for any disrespect that he felt. Thereafter I was singled out, picked on, and held up to standards higher than my fellow employees. This continued for the next month or so until I was terminated for making a mistake that is commonly made in my line of work but is handled by the cashier correcting it immediately and then everyone goes about their day. I called HR again but he very rudely told me that that was their decision and when I told him I was contacting a lawyer he laughed in my face and told me to go ahead if I thought I had a case.
Most any lawyer who does trial work would be willing to sit down with you and make a judgment of whether you have a justified complaint. Practically no lawyer will charge you for that kind of consultation. If the lawyer believes that you have a case, it may be that he or she will offer to represent you or may refer you to another lawyer. Employment cases are not easy because they can involve both state and federal law and agencies. In your case, the possibility of gender discrimination exists as well as other possible avenues of redress. If you don't know a lawyer, call your local bar association for a referral or look on AVVO.
The "find a lawyer" function on this site should stir you in the right direction. I can't speak for Maryland attorneys, but in California, most attorneys who take employment discrimination/retaliation cases litigate them on a contingency basis. Best of luck!
If you have not already, use Avvo's "Find a Lawyer" tool and look at profiles of Maryland litigators with whom you might wish to work on this case. Many of the Avvo profiles will detail fee schedules and retainers. If you find a few profiles that seem to suggest that the attorney would be willing to accept a contingency fee arrangement, reach out to that attorney and inquire. A pure contingency arrangement is unlikely, since that is quite a financially risky move for any attorney with a small or medium-sized practice, but perhaps a hybrid arrangement is possible, whereby you pay a smaller retainer upfront, and the rest is on a contingency fee negotiated between you and the attorney you retain. All the best to you in this matter.
Assuming that the facts are proven as stated, you have a claim for retaliation. You will need to file a complaint as soon as possible and probably should have a lawyer help with that. Many employment attorneys will help you on a contingency basis to get your EEOC case filed or for a small fee. Look for the AVVO lawyers in Maryland who do employment work and just ask if they will help you get your administrative claim made.
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