Public Accommodations Discrimination

Pursuant to State Government Article, §20-304, Annotated Code of Maryland, it is unlawful for an owner or operator of a place of public accommodation or an agent/employee of the owner or operator to refuse, withhold from, or deny to anyone the accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of a place of public accommodation because of race, sex, age, color, creed, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

The law protects you in the following settings including, but not limited to:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Theatres
  • Bus & Transportation Services
  • Recreational & Aquatic Centers
  • Governmental Facilities
  • Gas Stations, Department Stores & Retail Establishments
  • Sidewalks, Parking Lots, & Other Public Surface Areas
  • Office Buildings & Commercial Establishments
  • Museums, Amusement Parks, & Other Public Attractions
  • Hospitals or Related Institutions (State Government Article, §19-355)

Examples of equal access include, but is not limited to:

  • Entrances & Exits
  • Restrooms
  • Customer Sales & Services
​In addition, "a hospital or related institution may no discriminate against any individual with respect to the individual's medical care because of the race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status sexual orientation, gender identity or disability  of the individual. The Commission on Civil Rights shall enforce this section as provided in Title 20 of the State Government Article."​
State Government Article, §19-355 (c) and (d), Annotated Code of Maryland. ​

Harassment on the basis of a protected class (above, such as sexual harassment),  is prohibited under law and enforced by MCCR. Please note: harassment complaints can only be filed with MCCR if it is connected to the owner/operator (or an agent/employee of the owner/operator) refusing, withholding, or denying the accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of that place of public accommodation.

If you believe that actions have been taken against you based on a discriminatory animus, it is imperative that you contact our agency immediately to initiate an inquiry, so that we can assist you in determining if you have been a victim of public accommodations discrimination. Our trained Intake Staff will guide you through the intake process and, through a series of questions and interviews, help you analyze your situation to determine if the actions taken against you meet the threshold of being considered discriminatory.​

For deaf and hard of hearing individuals as well as those with limited English proficiency, MCCR provides Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) services free of charge to you upon request. MCCR will also assist with securing an interpreter free of charge if one is requested in advance of your appointment with MCCR.

Find out how to initiate an inquiry with MCCR​​.


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