Since 1994, the employment lawyers of the Maine Employee Rights Group have been protecting the rights of workers. With offices in Portland and Bangor, we have an excellent track record of success in Maine discrimination and workers' compensation cases. Our legal team includes award-winning attorneys with more than 100 years of combined experience, private investigators, and expert consultants. Last year alone, we obtained settlements and judgments totaling over $4,000,000 for our clients.
We consistently receive high ratings from our clients in the areas of "Overall Satisfaction," “Communication Ability," and “Responsiveness.” In surveys completed by our clients, they have rated us 4.8 out of 5 stars, with 100% stating that they “would recommend” our firm to others. (Click here to see actual client survey responses.)
Because the vast majority of our clients cannot afford to hire an attorney, our attorneys work on a contingent fee basis, which means that we receive a percentage of the compensation received by our clients. (Percentage varies based on the type of case. Call or email us for specifics.)
Our practice is statewide. We have successfully represented employees located in almost every city and town throughout Maine, including Portland, Bangor, Augusta, Lewiston, Kittery, Wells, Sanford, Kennebunk, Biddeford, Old Orchard Beach, South Portland, Westbrook, Gorham, Falmouth, Yarmouth, Freeport, Brunswick, Bath, Lewiston, Auburn, Gardiner, Waterville, Skowhegan, Camden, Rockland, Belfast, Newport, Ellsworth, Bar Harbor, Machias, Calais, Houlton, and Presque Isle.
Many Types of Workplace Discrimination Are Illegal
Maine employers are prohibited by federal and state laws from discriminating against employees and job applicants on the basis of physical and mental disability; prior use (or expected future use) of medical leave; and past complaints by an employee of discrimination, illegal conduct by the employer, failure to pay overtime, and/or unsafe conditions in the workplace. These laws also prohibit discrimination on the basis of race or color, gender (sex), age, religion, national origin and ancestry (ethnicity), or sexual orientation which includes gender identity and gender expression as well as a person’s sexuality.
The primary source of these protections is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal law that applies to employers throughout the United States. State laws called the Maine Human Rights Act and Maine Whistleblowers’ Protection Act also prohibit many types of workplace discrimination and retaliation against whistleblowers. It is important to note that the Fair Employment provisions of the Maine Human Rights Act also prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, a protection not currently found in the federal Civil Rights Act.
Other federal laws also outlaw other types of discrimination. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of a mental or physical disability; the False Claims Act bans retaliation against employees who make complaints that relate to an employer engaging in activities that, if discovered, could lead the federal government to require the employer to reimburse federal funds previously received by the employer; the Pregnancy Discrimination Act is an amendment to the Civil Rights Act that makes pregnancy discrimination illegal; and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects workers over the age of 40 from employment discrimination. Under state law, workers of all ages are protected from discrimination, making it unlawful to discriminate against young employees as well as old.
The Maine Employee Rights Group enforces the protections provided by all relevant federal and state laws on behalf of Maine employees. If you think you are the victim of illegal workplace discrimination, contact the experienced attorneys at our firm. Call (800) 596-0662 or fill out our online contact form to see if we can help you.Harassment and Retaliation Has No Place at Work
Unlawful workplace harassment and retaliation often accompanies workplace discrimination. Like discrimination, workplace harassment based on race, gender, religion and other characteristics is illegal. Any trait that provides the basis for illegal discrimination can also be the basis for illegal harassment.
Sexual harassment is the most prevalent type of workplace harassment, and it is banned by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Maine Human Rights Act. A type of gender discrimination, illegal sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, touching, or offers to exchange sexual behavior for employment benefits. Any actions that create a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment or that interfere with a person’s ability to do his or her job can constitute sexual harassment.
Many times an employer might fire or otherwise punish an employee for complaining about unlawful discrimination or harassment. These practices are also illegal and could give way to a claim for retaliation or unlawful termination.
Employees who believe that they have been illegally harassed or subject to retaliation should contact an experienced employment attorney right away, as there is a limited amount of time to file an employment discrimination or retaliation claim.Employees Injured at Work May Be Entitled to Compensation
All employers in Maine must carry workers’ compensation insurance. The Maine workers’ compensation system is the exclusive remedy for injured employees, meaning that the employees cannot file a lawsuit against their employer for their workplace injuries in most cases; they must seek compensation through the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. If an employee is injured on the job, the employee must report the injury within 30 days. Once the employee misses more than a week of work, he or she may start to receive weekly compensation benefits.
If you have been hurt on the job, our experienced and top-rated Maine workers’ compensation lawyers can help you file your claim and ensure that you seek the maximum benefits allowed under Maine law. Call (800) 596-0662 or fill out our online contact form to see if we can help you.