Baltimore County, not a past trend setter in job discrimination protection, might leap ahead of the pack. The county's Human Relations Commission is drafting legislation that would allow people discriminated against on the job due to sex or race to collect back pay plus a limited amount (possibly up to $50,000) to compensate, say, for the loss of a car or home while they were without a job. No locality in the state provides for compensatory damages in such cases; several, including Baltimore City and Howard County, do provide for reinstatement of back pay, which Baltimore County does not.
The normally conservative Hayden administration apparently sees merit in the workplace compensation proposal, which may be ready in a month or so for the county council's consideration.
The Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas case last fall did much to sensitize the public to workplace discrimination. Since then, the federal government has passed civil rights legislation strengthening the remedies for people found to have suffered racial or sexual discrimination or workplace harassment. The General Assembly is also in the midst of considering a bill to increase Maryland's penalties for discrimination, although pressure from the business community might spike it.