Maryland Legislative Update

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak

There is a little over a month left before the Maryland General Assembly adjourns its 2017 legislative session.  Below is a list of some of the employment-related bills that thelegislature is considering or has considered.

House Bill 1, the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, was summarized in a previous blog post.  HB 1 has passed the House and is being considered by the Senate.  HB 1 was cross-filed with Senate Bill 230, which the Senate passed on March 16.  Governor Larry Hogan has said that he will veto HB 1/SB 230.

House Bill 214, Discrimination in Employment – Conditions Related to Pregnancy or Childbirth, changes the reasonable accommodation provisions of Maryland’s pregnancy discrimination law.  HB 214 adds additional factors to those that are considered when considering whether an accommodation creates an undue hardship and creates a rebuttable presumption that the provision of an accommodation in one case means that a similar accommodation is reasonable, and not an undue hardship, in another case.  HB 214 also prohibits employers from:  (1) requiring an employee to take leave; (2) denying employment opportunities; (3) taking adverse employment action; and (4) requiring that an employee accept an accommodation.

House Bill 317, Wages and Benefits – Preemption of Local Authority, would have removed the authority of Maryland charter counties to require a minimum wage higher than the State’s minimum wage for those county laws that came into existence after January 1, 2017.  HB 317 received an unfavorable committee report and has been withdrawn by its sponsor.

House Bill 398, Salary History Information Disclosures, would prohibit employers with 15 or more employees from seeking the salary history information for employees and screening applicants based on salary history.  The bill was more expansive as originally drafted.  It would have required employers to include in job announcements the minimum pay rate and explanation of how pay is calculated, along with other pay-related information.  HB 398 passed the House on March 15.

Senate Bill 962 and House Bill 1416, Payment of Minimum Wage Required (Fight for Fifteen), would increase the state minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by fiscal year 2024, and then index the minimum wage to inflation.

House Bill 1143, Pay Stub Transparency Act, would alter the information that employers are required to give employees within 30 days after the first date of employment and for each pay period.  HB 1143 would also require employers to provide employees with an explanation of how wages were calculated.  The legislation permits employees to bring an action against an employer who does not comply with the proposed law’s provisions, and permits damages of unpaid wages and liquidated damages.

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