The Maryland Commission on Civil Rights ("MCCR") is the Maryland state agency equivalent to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC").
Although the MCCR was created to enforce Maryland’s laws against discrimination in employment, the MCCR has a "work-sharing agreement" with the EEOC, which means that, although the EEOC is a federal agency and the MCCR is a state agency, they work together to handle each other's cases.
While some are of the opinion that complaints filed with the MCCR are automatically filed with the EEOC, we believe it is a prudent practice, when filing a claim with either agency, to indicate that you want to "cross-file" the claim with the other agency.
The work-sharing agreement means that cases are shared or transferred among the agencies. Sometimes the MCCR transfers cases to the EEOC, such as when the allegation is against a federal agency or the complaint is filed after 180 days of the alleged incident. Additionally, the EEOC will often transfer complaints to MCCR where the agency has jurisdiction in order to conduct the investigation. The MCCR also has the ability to request cases for investigation from the EEOC, and that is a practice the agency engages in, in order to process every allegation of unlawful discrimination in Maryland in a timely manner.
Often, the EEOC or MCCR are backlogged with a heavy load of cases and they may enlist the help of another local agency, such as a county office of human rights, to process claims and investigations. This can be very helpful for your case as we have experienced tremendous success with this option.
If you are pursuing a discrimination case in Maryland and would like guidance on how to navigate the process, contact our firm to schedule a consultation.