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Ban-The-Box Comes To Maryland

Maryland has just joined a growing number of states and local jurisdictions — including Baltimore, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County — in banning private employers from requesting information about an applicant’s criminal history in job applications. Thanks to the state legislature overriding the governor’s veto, it appears the ban-the-box law has taken effect immediately, so the time is now to make sure you are in compliance with Maryland’s newest employment statute.

Maryland Becomes Latest State to ‘Ban the Box’

Maryland has joined a growing number of jurisdictions by enacting a “ban-the-box” law prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about their criminal history on the initial job application. The new Maryland law, the Criminal Record Screening Practices Act, will take effect on February 29, 2020.

Maryland Enacts a Statewide “Ban-the-Box” Law

During the 2019 legislative session, Governor Larry Hogan vetoed the Criminal Records Screening (or “Ban-the-Box”) Act. On January 30, 2020, however, the Maryland General Assembly overrode the governor’s veto, making it unlawful for any employer in the State of Maryland with 15 or more employees to inquire into an applicant’s criminal history before the employer conducts its first in-person interview. The law takes effect on February 29, 2020. Importantly, the law does not preempt the more restrictive ban-the-box ordinances enacted in Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Baltimore City.

Maryland Again Amends its Data Breach Notification Law

In response to trends, heightened public awareness, and a string of large-scale data breaches, states continue to enhance their data breach notification laws. In 2017 Maryland amended its Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) with expansion of the definition of personal information, modification of the definition of “breach of the security of the system”, establishing a 45-day timeframe for notification and expansion of the class of information subject to Maryland’s data destruction laws. Now, Maryland has again amended PIPA, with HB 1154 in effect from October 1, 2019, notably enhancing the requirements for a business once it becomes aware of a data security breach.

Maryland Prohibits Noncompetes for Low-Wage Employees

A new state law in Maryland now prohibits employers from requiring low-wage employees to enter into noncompete agreements. Maryland Senate Bill 328, which took effect on October 1, 2019, prohibits employers from obligating any employee who earns less than $15.00 per hour or $31,200 per year from entering into an agreement that restricts the employee’s ability to work with a new employer in the same or similar business. The statute provides that entry into such agreements with low-wage employees is against public policy and therefore void.

October Brings Employment Law Changes to Maryland

October in Maryland is a time of ripening pumpkins and falling leaves. October 1 is also the date when many (but not all) laws passed by the Maryland General Assembly go into effect. This year’s batch of new employment laws contains a couple of “tricks” for employers and “treats” for employees and the plaintiff’s bar who represent them.

Get Ready for Maryland’s New Employment Laws Going into Effect October 1

New Maryland laws governing the workplace will take effect on October 1, 2019.

Maryland Privacy Act Amendments Impact Businesses That Maintain Computerized Personal Information

On April 30, 2019, Maryland governor Larry Hogan approved a series of amendments to the Maryland Personal Information Protection Act. The amendments, effective October 1, 2019, impact data breach obligations imposed on businesses that “maintain” computerized data containing personal information. “Personal information” under the Maryland privacy act includes a broad category of personal identifiers—such as an individual’s social security number, tax ID number, or biometric data—combined with his or her first and last name.

Maryland Joins the Bandwagon: Bans Noncompetes for Low-Wage Workers

Maryland has become the latest state to revise its noncompetition law to clamp down on the practice and further restrict the types of workers permitted to be bound by such restrictive covenants.

Maryland Approves Minimum Wage Increase to $15 an Hour

Maryland has become the sixth state in the nation to adopt a minimum wage of $15.00 per hour. The state’s Democratic-controlled legislature overrode Republican Governor Larry Hogan’s veto on March 28, 2019. The current minimum wage in Maryland is $10.10 per hour.
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