The Maryland General Assembly has approved legislation aimed at expanding workplace discrimination rights and identifying trends in workplace discrimination complaints to recommend changes in policy. The bills, which now head to Governor Hogan for review, are summarized below.
Employment Discrimination- Time For Filing Complaints
HB290/SB455 amends Maryland’s Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) to extend the time period for filing a charge of discrimination alleging an unlawful employment practice other than harassment from 180 days to 300 days after the last alleged discriminatory act, if the charge is filed with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR).
Complaints filed with a local commission within 300 days of an alleged discriminatory act will be deemed timely under the amended law.
You may recall that in 2019, Maryland extended the time period for filing a charge of discrimination alleging harassment with the MCCR or similar local agency from 6 months to 2 years. This expanded timeframe for filing complaints of harassment remains unchanged.
Maryland Commission on Civil Rights- Employment Discrimination- Reporting
SB236/HB257 amends existing State law by adding new data collection and reporting requirements for certain local human relations agencies.
The legislation requires county offices of civil rights, or other appropriate agencies, in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties, as well as Baltimore City, to report the following information to MCCR on or before October 1 of each year:
- Number of complaints received alleging discrimination in employment
- For each complaint received:
- Type of discrimination alleged
- Category of job held by the complainant
- Whether the complainant is a public sector or private sector employee
- The complainant’s country of origin; and
- Whether the appropriate agency determined a violation occurred
By January 1 of each year, the Commission will be required to submit a report to the governor that includes a review of the data reported by the county agencies and recommendations, if any, for policy changes to address discriminatory trends identified from the data.