Effective immediately, employers in Montgomery County, Maryland must allow eligible employees in the County to use up to 56 hours of paid sick and safe leave provided under Montgomery County’s sick and safe leave law for birth, adoption, foster care, or bonding with the employee’s child. The County Council adopted this measure to bridge gaps in employees’ ability to use paid leave for various combinations of parental leave under federal and state laws.
Articles Discussing General Topics In Maryland Labor & Employment Law.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has signed into law a significant expansion of the Maryland Equal Pay Law, including new provisions to prohibit pay discrimination on the basis of gender identity and to make it easier for employees to discover and discuss disparities in pay.
Montgomery County is the first county in Maryland to enact a paid sick and safe leave law. The Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law (“the Law”) requires employers operating and doing business in Montgomery County, that employ one or more employees, to provide paid sick and safe leave to their employees who perform work in the County. It becomes effective on October 1, 2016, or, for employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) in effect, on October 1, 2016, after the expiration of the CBA. The Maryland General Assembly had considered a similar bill during the 2015 legislative session, but the bill failed in session.
The Montgomery County, Maryland Council recently passed two amendments to the County Code that impact employers. First, the County has joined in the recent trend of mandatory sick leave laws by requiring employers with one or more employees in the County to provide paid sick and safe leave to covered employees. Second, the County altered the amount of tip credit that employers may use when calculating the minimum wage owed to tipped employees and created a related quarterly reporting requirement.
New ordinances in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, Maryland, and Columbia, Missouri, limit an employer’s ability to inquire into an applicant’s criminal history. Employers should continue to be on the look out for new ban-the-box initiatives in the New Year as the list of localities considering such laws is expected to grow.
Executive Summary: In 2013, the Maryland legislature passed the Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities Due to Pregnancy Act requiring employers with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodation for individuals with a disability “caused or contributed to by pregnancy.” Then, one year later, the legislature enacted the Maryland Parental Leave Act which requires employers with at least 15 employees in Maryland to provide eligible employees with six workweeks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child. These new statutes dramatically enhance the protections for pregnant employees and provide job-protected parental leave for both female and male employees.
Effective October 1, 2014, small employers in Maryland will be required to provide employees with unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child under the Maryland Parental Leave Act (“PLA” or “Act”), a new law passed by the Maryland General Assembly.
The Baltimore City Council has enacted the “Ban the Box Fair Criminal Record Screening Practices” Ordinance, which restricts the timing of pre-employment inquiries about a job applicant’s criminal history by certain private employers. The Ordinance will become effective August 13, 2014, 90 days after Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake signed it into law.
On May 15, 2014, the City of Baltimore, Maryland, became the tenth U.S. jurisdiction to “ban the box” by passing legislation restricting private employers from inquiring into the criminal history of job applicants.
The Maryland House of Delegates has approved a bill banning discrimination on the basis of gender identity, positioning Maryland to join 17 other states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in providing protections from unlawful discrimination to employees based on gender identity. The anti-discrimination laws of certain localities in Maryland (i.e., Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, and Montgomery County) already prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity.
In late September, a federal court in Maryland ruled that the state drug and alcohol testing statute does not permit employers to conduct breath alcohol tests.
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has signed into law the Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities Due to Pregnancy Law. The law, which becomes effective on October 1, 2013, amends the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act and creates new burdens for employers beyond those required under federal law. Maryland joins a growing number of states that mandate employers provide some form of accommodation to pregnant workers. (E.g., see California Issues Amended Pregnancy Regulations, Extends Coverage to Perceived Pregnancy.) Significantly, as illustrated by the new Maryland law, these state laws impose different and arguably greater obligations than such federal laws as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), even after passage of the ADA Amendments Act (“ADAAA”).
Effective October 1, 2013, Maryland employers with 15 or more employees must provide their pregnant employees with certain reasonable accommodations beyond the requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities Due to Pregnancy Act (SB 784/HB 804) mandates that employers provide pregnant employees who are temporarily disabled with light duty assignments or transfers to less strenuous jobs, among other potential accommodations. Typically, these accommodations remove essential functions from a job, in contrast to traditional ADA accommodations which remove impediments or otherwise assist employees in performing the essential functions of their jobs.
Effective October 1, 2013, Maryland employers must provide employees with one day of unpaid leave to be used on the day the employee’s “immediate family member” is leaving for or returning from active military duty outside the United States as a member of the armed forces. “Immediate family member” is defined as the employee’s spouse (including a same-sex spouse), parent, stepparent, child, stepchild or sibling.
In May 2013, Governor Martin O’Malley signed three noteworthy statutes that will affect virtually every Maryland employer. Effective October 1, 2013, Maryland employers with 15 or more employees must provide their pregnant employees with certain reasonable accommodations beyond the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”). The “Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities Due to Pregnancy Act” (SB 784/HB 804) mandates that employers provide pregnant employees who are temporarily disabled with light duty assignments or transfers to less strenuous jobs, among other accommodations. Typically, these accommodations remove essential functions from a position, rather than allowing the employee to perform the essential functions. The law also requires that employers post a notice “in a conspicuous location” and devote a section in employee handbooks that explains a pregnant employee’s right to a reasonable accommodation under the new law.