Know Your Rights

Know Your Rights with a yellow text box


  • Employers cannot threaten workers about calling the police because of their immigration status.  

  • Employers cannot discriminate in recruiting, interviewing, hiring, or discharging based on age, race, color, citizenship, familial status, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or religion. 

  • Employment agencies cannot discriminate in job referrals, ask discriminatory pre-employment questions, or circulate information that unlawfully limits employment. 

  • Employers cannot harass or bully workers because of their race, gender, nationality, age, color, citizenship, familial status, sexual orientation or religion. 

  • If you feel that you are being discriminated against at work, call the Community Relations Commission at 410-396-3141 or send an email to 

  • If you are owed a wage or are not being paid a proper wage, contact the Wage Commission, under the office of Equity and Civil Rights, at 410-396-3141 or you can file your claim online at 


  • Landlords, lenders and home sellers cannot refuse to rent, provide a mortgage or sell a dwelling to any qualified buyer or renter based on age, race, color, nationality, citizenship, religion, familial status, gender or sexual orientation. 

  • Landlords, lenders and home sellers cannot use unfair rules in selling, financing, or renting. 

  • It is illegal to attempt to steer persons into or away from neighborhoods or apartment complexes on the basis of race, gender, disability, familial status, color, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, or religion. 

  • To file a complaint regarding unlawful discrimination, call the Community Relations Commission at 410-396-3141, or send an email to 


Language Access 

  • City agencies are required by federal law to make reasonable steps to serve city residents who do not speak English.  

  • You have the right to be served by city agencies in your language. 

  • City agencies are required by federal law to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to federally-funded programs and services for individuals who do not speak English. Meaningful access means accurate, timely, and effective communication provided via language assistance (both oral and written services) at no cost to the individual. 

  • If a city employee does not speak your language, the city employee will call an interpreter via telephone at no cost to you. Please let the city employee know that you need interpretation assistance and tell them what language you speak.  

  • If you ask for interpretation and a city employee refuses to use telephonic interpretation to speak with you, call 311 to make a complaint.  

  • The Baltimore City Department of Social Services (DSS) is a Maryland State agency and does not fall under the jurisdiction of the City of Baltimore. State Agencies are also required by law to make services available to limited English proficient (LEP) individuals. To report violations of your rights at State agencies, file a complaint with the Maryland Civil Rights Commission at 

Public Safety 

  • If you are questioned by the police you have the right to remain silent. 

  • You have the right to speak with an attorney before or during any police questioning. 

  • If you agree to answer questions, you may stop at any time and request an attorney, and no further questions will be asked. 

  • If you want an attorney and cannot afford one, an attorney will be appointed to represent you. 

  • If you are questioned by the police you have the right to ask the officer if you are being arrested or detained. 

  • If you are arrested by local police, they must charge you with a crime in court within 48 hours, or they must release you. 

  • You should be treated with courtesy and professionalism by police officers. 

  • You may file a complaint if you think that a police officer acted inappropriately while interacting with you. 

  • You may also file a complaint if you witnessed a police officer acting inappropriately. 

  • File a complaint against Baltimore police with the Civilian Review Board  

  • If immigration comes to your home or stops you on the street, you have the right to see a warrant; in all other cases, keep the door closed. State: “I do not consent to your entry.” 

  • If you feel your rights or the rights of one of your family members has been violated, call the ACLU of Maryland at 410-889-8555. 

  • If a Baltimore City resident is detained by ICE and they make less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, contact the CAIR Coalition for free legal representation to fight the deportation case at 202-331-3320 Ext 7027 

  • If you are the victim of a crime and help police with the investigation or prosecution of the crime, you may be eligible for a U visa. Reach out to one of the immigration legal services organizations below for assistance with filing the necessary paperwork 

  • Hate Crimes: Are you or someone you know the victim of harassment or discrimination? Call 410-396-3141.  

  • If you are the victim of a hate crime or witness a crime, call 911. Baltimore City Police officers are not allowed to ask about your immigration status. DISCRIMINATION IS AGAINST THE LAW. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE FREE FROM DISCRIMINATION IN THE CITY OF BALTIMORE. 

The Baltimore City Civilian Review Board takes complaints that allege the use of excessive force, abusive language, harassment, false arrest, and false imprisonment by Baltimore City law enforcement. To file a complaint please visit or call 410-396-3151, or mail your complaint to: 

Civilian Review Board 

7 E. Redwood St., 9th Floor 

Baltimore, MD 21202 



Don’t be afraid to call the police! Baltimore Police Department officers are not allowed to ask about your immigration status.  

If you or a close family member were the victim of a crime, you may be able to get a temporary visa, the U-visa, that can protect you from being deported–if you are willing to help police and prosecutors investigate and prosecute that crime.  

You may be eligible for a U-visa if you or your family member were the victim of one of these crimes:  

  • rape, torture, trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, prostitution, sexual  
  • exploitation, abusive sexual contact, female genital mutilation, being held hostage, false imprisonment, felonious assault, fraud in labor contracting, incest, manslaughter, obstruction of justice, perjury, witness tampering, unlawful criminal restraint, peonage, involuntary  
  • servitude, slave trade, kidnapping, abduction, blackmail, extortion, murder, or any  
  • similar activity that violates the law  

Were you a victim of one of the crimes listed above?  

Was a close family member of yours a victim of a crime listed above?  

Were you or a close family member the victim of a similar crime?  

If your answer is YES, you should call the Baltimore Police Department at 410-637-8849 or visit your local District Headquarters to make a police report. You and your family member may be able to apply for a U-visa. You are entitled to receive assistance from BPD in your language.  

The U-visa is a temporary visa for victims who make a report to the police. The U-visa protects you from being deported for four years. It provides legal immigration status if you are a crime victim and allows you to work legally. You may be able to apply for a U-visa if you helped or will help police and prosecutors investigate or prosecute a crime. 

If you have an emergency, call 911 right away. Baltimore Police Department officers are not allowed to ask about your immigration status.  

The process to file a U-visa requires an attorney. Contact one of these immigration legal service providers or a reputable immigration attorney for legal assistance. 

Baltimore Police Department District Headquarters: 

Central District 

501 N. Calvert Street  

Baltimore, MD 21202 


Eastern District 

1620 Edison Highway  

Baltimore, MD 21213 

Western District 

1034 N. Mount Street Baltimore, MD 21217 

Southern District 

10 Cherry Hill Road 

Baltimore, MD 21225 


Southeastern District 

5710 Eastern Avenue 

Baltimore, MD 21224 

Southwestern District 

424 Font Hill Avenue 

Baltimore, MD 21223 

Northern District 

2201 W. Cold Spring Lane Baltimore, Md., 21215 

Northeastern District 

1900 Argonne Drive 

Baltimore, MD 21218 

Northwestern District 

5271 Reisterstown Road Baltimore, MD 21215 

Immigration Legal Service Organizations: 

Just Neighbors 


World Relief Baltimore Immigration Legal Clinic 


CASA Baltimore 


*Tahirih Justice Center 


*Asylee Women Enterprise 



*Women’s Law Center of Maryland 



Esperanza Center  





* = serves only victims of intimate partner violence, domestic violence and trafficking