Office of Human Rights Home

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The Office of Human Rights investigates incidents of hate/violence and complaints of discrimination. Victims of hate/violence crimes can seek compensation for replacement of property through the County's Partnership Fund, administered by the Office of Human Rights.

James Stowe, Director

James L. Stowe, Director
Montgomery County’s Office of Human Rights

MPIA Information

MPIA Requests for the Office of Human Rights Records: Please click here for the new Executive Order regarding extension of MPIA response deadlines.  If you wish to request any public records maintained by the Office of Human Rights, please send that request to: James L. Stowe, Director, Montgomery County Office of Human Rights, 21 Maryland Avenue, Third Floor, Suite 330, Rockville, Maryland 20850. Read Executive Order 119-20
Contact Information:  Phone: (240) 777-8450 |  Email:

Executive Order

Employee Corner

Earned Safe & Sick Leave Law, Employment Laws, Compliance Requirements, Forms, Notices and Legislation for use and reference by employers. This section will be updated as revisions and changes warrant. Highlights and reminders of significant dates and deadlines will also be included . Learn More.

Montgomery County Earn Sick and Safe Leave Law and COVID-19 StatementMaryland Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Business.

Employee Corner

Minimum Wage Increase

Minimum Wage Notice Flyer

Starting July 1, the County minimum wage will increase to $16.70 per hour for large employers. The rate for mid-sized employers will be $15 per hour. The rate for small employers will be $14.50 per hour. 
Press Release for Minimum Wage 

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Information You Should Know. Misinformation about coronavirus can create fear and hurt people. The best source for information is Montgomery County’s COVID-19 website and the CDC COVID-19 website.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) started in Wuhan, China. That is geography. Having Chinese ancestry –– or any other ancestry –– does not make a person more vulnerable to this illness. Wearing a mask will not prevent uninfected people from being infected. They are designed to reduce the capacity for infected people to infect others. Wearing a mask does not mean a person is ill. People wear masks for a variety of reasons, including to avoid pollen and air pollution and for cultural and social reasons. We should not judge someone for wearing a mask or assume they are sick. Coronavirus doesn’t recognize race, nationality, or ethnicity. If you experience discrimination or any act of intimidation, contact Montgomery County’s Office of Human Rights at 240-777-8450. Bigotry is not acceptable. We are stronger when we stand together.

Stigma and COVID-19

We have been vigilant regarding any hate crimes or bias incidents that may have occurred since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. There is bias against many groups of people for many reasons, so we urge all our communities to stay vigilant, and report these incidents. CDC information regarding reducing stigma surrounding COVID-19.

COVID-19 and Housing

Housing Resources During Coronavirus / COVID-19.
Renter’s Information for Montgomery County Residents. (Spanish Version)

COVID-19: Consumer Protection Information.

While Coronavirus health concerns are paramount, there are also financial safety issues related to COVID-19. Montgomery County Council President Sidney Katz sat down with Office of Consumer Protection Director Eric Friedman to discuss consumer scams related to COVID-19. Watch video for more information . Special thanks to Council President Sidney Katz, and production team: Susan Kenedy & Mike Springirth. Information on Coronavirus  including price gouging. 

Silver Spring Native and musician Marcus Johnson message for you to stay home to stop the spread of COVID–19. 

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Guidance For Employers and Employees

News and information will be updated as revisions and changes warrant. Highlights and reminders of significant dates and deadlines will also be included. Learn More...

Maryland Department of Labor | Unemployment Filing Information
New BEACON One-Stop Online Application Available Friday, April 24
The Maryland Department of Labor has launched a new unemployment insurance application called the Beacon One-Stop . This new application will allow all Marylanders to file all types of claims entirely online! This includes those who are eligible for regular benefits, CARES Act benefits, and individuals who were previously required to file by phone. To learn how services have been improved and expanded, visit the BEACON One-Stop Overview page .

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Removal of Confederate Monument

The Montgomery County Human Rights Commission and the Office of Human Rights Support the Removal of Confederate Monuments and symbols from our public spaces. As long as they remain, such monuments to the confederacy serve the purposes for which they were constructed: to glorify a system of governance that promotes white supremacy, racism, bigotry, and intolerance. We support the removal of these historical remnants, which continue to uplift discrimination, enslavement, and oppression. Read the complete statement.

Age Discrimination

Age Discrimination Affects All in the Workplace. Recently, the Office of Human Rights released an article on age discrimination in the workplace that all employers should read. The County established the OHR to help educate and promote compliance with human rights laws, provide technical assistance to the residents and the marketplace and provides mediation and conciliation services. Here in Montgomery County, a growing number of workers especially those who are 40 or older say there’s plenty of age discrimination in the workplace. They trade stories of both subtle and overt acts of discrimination that lead to frustration and desperation. The negative effects of age discrimination don’t stop there. They also impact employers and our community overall. Age Discrimination Fact Sheet.

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Fair Housing Program

As a part of the Office of Human Rights, The Fair Housing Program has developed a far-reaching program of outreach and monitoring activities. If you feel you have been a victim of housing discrimination and would like to file a complaint, visit the Compliance Section of this web site, or call 240/777-8450 or TTY 240/777-8480. To obtain information on fair housing or to arrange for training for your business, group, or organization, call 240/777-8450. Visit the Fair Housing Section for more information.

Watch the Fair Housing Educational Summit, held December 15, 2022, on YouTube.

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Committee Against Hate/Violence

The duties of the Hate/Violence Committee are to develop and distribute information about hate/violence, promote educational activities that demonstrate the positive value of ethnic and social diversity; advise the County Council, the County Executive, and County agencies about hate/violence in the County, and recommend such policies, programs, legislation, or regulations as it finds necessary to reduce the incidences of acts of hate/violence. Learn More.

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IAOHRA/HUD Fair Housing Matters

The Challenges of Housing Access in a Racially Divided Nation During COVID-19 Webinar. View the recording on this webinar held Thursday, August 13, 2020, in partnership with the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies (IAOHRA)/ U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Participants heard from HUD FHEO Assistant Secretary Anna María Farías, as well as national fair housing experts. Discussions included: Unique Fair Housing Issues Presented by COVID-19; Best Agency Practices in the Age of Pandemic; and Fair Housing and COVID-19 as seen through Race and Gender Equity Lenses. View recording

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U.S. Civil Rights Commission Condemnation of Killings

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights unanimously condemned the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and calls on the Department of Justice to enforce federal civil rights law that protect Americans from unconstitutional policing practices. The Commission also unanimously urged all law enforcement to follow constitutional policing practices in response to the recent demonstrations. In a 2018 report “Police Use of Force: An Examination of Modern Policing Practices,” “the relationship between law enforcement and many communities in the U.S. is fraught and challenging, particularly for those who experience violent crimes coupled with intensive police presence and surveillance.” The Commission also mourned the passing of LGBTQ and AIDS activist Larry Kramer. 

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Do You Know Your Rights? We Are Here To Help

If you feel you have been discriminated in employment; real estate; housing; public accommodations; intimidation; race; gender identity; color; religious creed; genetic status; age; disability; or sexual orientation contact the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights at 240-777-8450. Inquries and/or questions concerning possible violations can also be made by calling 311. Find out More.  

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Twenty Years of Civil Rights Progress

A History of the Human Relations Commission of Montgomery County, Maryland. Created by the County Government as a "sounding board" for interracial discussion and release of tension in the early 1960's, the Commission has evolved into an established enforcement agency as well, investigating , holding hearings and adjudicating complaints of discrimination in public accommodations, housing and employment. In step with rising awareness of the various forms of discrimination, its mandate has gradually evolved over the years. Learn more about the history of the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights.

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The Vision! The MoCo Pride Center

The MoCo Pride Center will be a 501c3 organization designed to serve the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) community and its allies in Montgomery County, Maryland. The vision of the MoCo Pride Center is to be the leading organization for LGBTQ resources and advocacy in our county. Our proposed mission is to organize, support, educate, and provide outreach to the LGBTQ community and its allies. Learn More About Us! 

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Montgomery County Pride Center