Tag Archives: Maryland

NEW LAW — Maryland’s New Sexual Harassment Reporting Requirement

On May 15, 2018, Maryland Governor signed House Bill 1596 (The Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act of 2018) into law.  This new law, which goes into effect on October 1, 2018, imposes some interesting requirements on employers relating to  workplace sexual harassment.

First, the new law prohibits arbitrating sexual harassment claims.

Second, the new law prohibits employers from asking any employee to waive his/her right to raise a future sexual harassment complaint.  Under the new law, such a waiver is void and unenforceable.  To the extent that any employment-related documents contain such a waiver, this waiver should be removed from those documents before October 1, 2018.

Continue reading NEW LAW — Maryland’s New Sexual Harassment Reporting Requirement

Maryland Passes New Sexual Harassment Disclosure Requirements

Maryland has joined the list of states to respond to the #MeToo movement with harsher laws relating to sexual harassment in the workplace.  Effective October 1, 2018, Maryland’s Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act will place new restrictions on the terms employer’s may include in employment agreements.  For certain employers, the new law will also mean additional workplace reporting requirements.

Employment Agreements

Maryland’s new law will prohibit employers from including in an employment agreement any provision which waives any procedural or substantive right to file a claim related to a future instance of sexual harassment.  The law also prohibits such waivers relating to future instances of retaliation arising out of an employee’s reporting of sexual harassment.  Additionally, employers may not take any adverse action against employees who refuse to enter into an agreement containing such waivers.

Reporting Requirements

In addition to the above restrictions on employment agreements, the new law will require employers with 50 or more employees to submit a survey to the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights disclosing the following: Continue reading Maryland Passes New Sexual Harassment Disclosure Requirements

NEW LAW: Maryland’s New Sick Leave Statute

Just when you thought that Maryland’s sick leave statute (the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act) was dead on arrival (thanks to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s veto), the Maryland legislature recently voted to override the governor’s veto, which means that Maryland is officially the 9th state to require employers provide earned sick and safe leave to their employees.  Absent any delays, this law is currently scheduled to go into effect on February 11, 2018 (30 days following the veto override).

Who is covered by the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act?

All Maryland employers are covered by the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act.  However, the size of the employer determines whether the sick leave provided is paid sick leave or unpaid sick leave.

All Maryland employers who employ 15 or more employees will be required to provide employees with paid sick and safe leave.

All Maryland employers who employ 14 or fewer employees will be required to provide employees with unpaid sick and safe leave.

How is an employer’s employee headcount determined?

According to the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, the employee headcount is determined by calculating the average monthly number of employees employed by the employer during the immediately preceding year.  When making this calculation, employers must include all employee types (e.g. all full–time, part–time, temporary, or seasonal employees) and cannot take into consideration whether an employee would actually be eligible for earned sick and safe leave benefits.

Are any employees excluded from earned sick and safe leave?

Yes, the following types of employees are excluded from receiving “earned sick and safe leave”:

  • Employees who work under a contract for hire that is determined not to be covered employment under Maryland law,
  • Employees who are certain licensed real estate salespersons or brokers,
  • Employees who are under the age of 18 years old before the beginning of the year,
  • Employees who are employed in the agricultural sector on an agricultural operation.
  • Employees who are employed by a temporary services agency to provide temporary staffing services to another person as long as the agency does not maintain day to day control over and supervision of the individual’s work assignments while he/she is providing the temporary services; or
  • Employees who are directly employed by an employment agency to provide part-time or temporary services to another person

How much earned sick and safe leave must be provided?

Starting February 11, 2018, eligible employees of Maryland employers will start accruing earned sick and safe leave. Earned sick and safe leave benefits will accrue at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked by the employee. For new employees, accrual begins on the first day of employment.

Employers must provide employees with at least 40 hours of earned sick and safe leave per year.

Instead of tracking annual accrual, employers are allowed to “frontload” an employee’s earned sick and safe leave allotment on an annual basis (i.e. provide an employee with the full earned sick and safe leave allotment at the start of the year).

Subject to the accrual cap, up to 40 hours of accrued but unused earned sick and safe leave must be carried over to the following year.

Is there a limit to the amount of earned sick and safe leave an employee can accrue?

Yes, the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act sets a “point in time” accrual cap on earned sick and safe leave of 64 hours.  This means that employers are only required to allow employees’ bank of accrued, unused earned sick and safe leave to reach 64 hours at any one time.

If an employer uses the accrual method for providing earned sick and safe leave, how does the employer comply with both the 40-hour annual accrual cap and the 64-hour “point in time” accrual cap?

This issue only arises where an employee’s unused earned sick and safe leave is carried over to the following year and is best explained through the following example:

An employee accrues 40 hours of earned sick and safe leave in 2018 and does not use any accrued earned sick and safe leave during that year.  The employee carries over all 40 hours into 2019.  In 2019, the employee accrues earned sick and safe leave until he reaches 64 hours in his bank.  Accrual stops even though the employee has only accrued 24 hours of earned sick and safe leave in 2019 because the employee has reached the 64-hour “point in time” accrual cap.  In July of 2019, the employee becomes ill and uses 24 hours of earned sick and safe leave.  Once the employee uses some of his banked 64 hours of earned sick and safe leave, he begins accruing the remaining 16 hours of earned sick and safe leave for 2019 based on his hours worked.

Is there a limit to the amount of earned sick and safe leave an employee can use in a given year?

Yes, employers must allow employees to use at least 64 hours of earned sick and safe leave in a year.

How is a “year” defined for purposes of earned sick and safe leave?

A “year” is defined as a regular and consecutive 12–month period as determined by the employer.

Are there any exceptions to the earned sick and safe leave accrual rules (in other words, are there times where an employer is not required to allow an employee to accrue earned sick and safe leave)?

Yes, there are three exceptions to the earned sick and safe leave accrual rules.

Employers are not required to allow a non-exempt employee to accrue sick and safe leave during:

  1. A two-week pay period in which the employee worked less than 24 hours total,
  2. A one-week pay period if the employee worked less than a combined total of 24 hours in the current and immediately preceding pay period, or
  3. A pay period in which the employee is paid twice a month, regardless of the number of weeks in a pay period, and the employee worked fewer than 26 hours in the pay period.

For exempt employees, the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act assumes that exempt employees work 40 hours each workweek, unless the employee’s normal workweek is less than 40 hours, in which case the number of hours in the normal workweek should be used.

When are employees eligible to use earned sick and safe leave?

The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act imposes a 106-calendar day waiting period before a newly hired employee can use paid sick leave benefits. This means that for employees who have been employed by the employer for more than 106 days as of February 11, 2018, those employees will be eligible to use their paid sick leave benefits as those benefits are accrued.

What can earned sick and safe leave be used for?

Employees can use earned sick and safe leave for the following purposes:

  • To care for or treat the employee’s own mental or physical illness, injury or condition, or to obtain preventive medical care;
  • To care for a covered family member with a mental or physical illness, injury or condition, or to obtain preventive medical care for the family member;
  • For maternity or paternity leave; or
  • For certain absences from work that are necessary due to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking committed against the employee or the employee’s covered family member.

Who is considered a “covered family member” under the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act?

A “covered family member” is defined as the employee’s:

  • Child (including a biological, adopted, foster, or step child of the employee, a child for whom the employee has legal or physical custody or guardianship, and a child for whom the employee stands in loco parentis, regardless of the child’s age),
  • Parent (including a biological, adoptive, foster or step parent of the employee or the employee’s spouse, the legal guardian of the employee, and an individual who acted as a parent or stood in loco parentis to the employee or the employee’s spouse when they were a minor),
  • Spouse,
  • Grandparent (including biological, adoptive, foster and step relationships),
  • Grandchild (including biological, adoptive, foster and step relationships), and
  • Siblings (including biological, adoptive, foster and step relationships).

What are the employee’s notice requirements before using earned sick and safe leave?

When the use of earned sick and safe leave is foreseeable, employees may be required to provide the employer “reasonable advanced notice” (no more than 7 days) of the need to use earned sick and safe leave.

When the use of earned sick and safe leave is not foreseeable, employees may be required to provide notice of the need to use earned sick and safe leave “as soon as practicable” and employers can require employees to generally comply with the employer’s notice or procedural requirements for requesting or reporting other leave, if those requirements do not interfere with the employee’s ability to use earned sick and safe leave.

An employer may deny an employee’s request to take earned sick and safe leave if:

  • An employee fails to provide proper notice for the need to use earned sick and safe leave; and
  • The employee’s absence will cause a disruption to the employer.

Can employers require that employees provide documentation verifying their need for earned sick and safe leave?

Yes, employers may require that an employee provide documentation verifying their need for earned sick and safe leave under the two following circumstances:

  • The leave was used for more than two consecutive shifts or
  • The employee used the leave between the 107th and 120th calendar days of his employment and the employee agreed to provide documentation under terms agreed upon by the employer and employee when the employee was hired.

In addition, if the employee fails to provide the required documentation, the employer can deny that employee’s subsequent request to take earned sick and safe leave for the same reason.

Are employers required to pay out unused earned sick and safe leave at termination of employment?

No, employers are not required to pay out unused, accrued earned sick and safe leave at termination of employment.  However, if an employee is rehired within 135 days of separation by the same employer, previously accrued paid sick and safe leave time that had not been used must be reinstated.

What are the employer’s notice requirements relating to paid sick leave?

An employer must give employees written notice of their right to paid sick leave. The notice must include several topics, including a statement about how sick and safe leave is accrued and the reasons for which the leave can be used under the Act.

The Maryland Commissioner of Labor and Industry is required to create a poster and model notice to help employers comply with this notice requirement.

In addition, employers are required to provide employees with a written statement of their available sick and safe leave balance each time wages are paid.

Does this new law preempt any local earned sick and safe leave ordinances that Maryland localities have passed?

It depends on when the local ordinance was passed.

Under the new paid sick leave law, Maryland localities are prohibited from passing local paid sick leave ordinances after January 1, 2017.

This means that any locality that passed a paid sick leave ordinance prior to this date (i.e. the Montgomery County, MD Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act, which went into effect on October 1, 2016) is shielded from preemption, while any locality that passed a paid sick leave ordinance after to this date (i.e. the Prince George’s County Earned Sick and Safe Leave ordinance, which was enacted on December 12, 2017 and scheduled to go into effect in May of 2018) is preempted.

What should Maryland employers do to prepare for the new law?

As stated above, Maryland’s new Paid Sick Leave Law is currently scheduled to go into effect on February 11, 2018. In order to prepare for this new law, employers should prepare paid sick leave policies and plan to include those policies in their 2018 Employee Handbook. In addition, employers with existing sick leave or PTO policies should check their policies to verify that they are compliant with this new law. We will keep you posted about this law as it draws closer to the effective date.

NEW LAW: Minimum Wage in Montgomery County, Maryland to Increase Starting July 1, 2018

Attention Montgomery County (MD) employers … the Montgomery County Council recently approved a minimum wage schedule that will increase the minimum wage in Montgomery County to $15.00 per hour as soon as July 1, 2021 for certain employers.

Under this new schedule (set forth below), starting July 1, 2018, Montgomery County will have a tiered minimum wage dependent on an employer’s size.  The new minimum wage schedule is as follows:

Date Employers With 51 or More Employees Employers With 11 to 50 Employees Employers With 10 or Fewer Employees
July 1, 2018 $12.25 $12.00 $12.00
July 1, 2019 $13.00 $12.50 $12.50
July 1, 2020 $14.00 $13.25 $13.00
July 1, 2021 $15.00 $14.00 $13.50
July 1, 2022 $14.50 $14.00
July 1, 2023 $15.00 $14.50
July 1, 2024 $15.00

It is recommended that all employers in Montgomery County prepare themselves for this increase.

NEW LAW — October 1st Equals Local Minimum Wage Increases for Berkeley, CA and Prince George County, Maryland

Attention all Berkeley, California and Prince George County, Maryland employers.  The minimum wage in your localities increased effective October 1, 2017.

What’s the Increase?

Berkeley, California

The local minimum wage for Berkeley increased from $12.53 to $13.75 per hour.

Prince George County, Maryland

The local minimum wage for Prince George County increased from $10.75 to $11.50 per hour.  In addition, the local minimum wage for tipped employees remains at $3.63 per hour.

2017 MINIMUM WAGE MID-YEAR CHECK-UP

With various cities and counties having enacted local minimum wages (many of which are increasing on July 1st) and 3 states (Maryland, Oregon, and Washington DC) increasing their own minimum wages on July 1st, employers should take time to verify that they are meeting the minimum wage requirements of their state/city/county.

The below chart sets forth the minimum wage effective July 1, 2017.

Federal $7.25
State City County  Amount?
Alabama  $7.25
Alaska  $9.80
Arizona — all cities/counties except …  $10.00
  Flagstaff*   $10.50
Arkansas  $8.50
California — all cities/counties except …

small employer (25 or less)

$10.00

large employer (26 or more)

$10.50
Berkeley

Increasing 10/1/2017 to …

Alameda County  $12.53
$13.75
Cupertino Santa Clara County $12.00
El Cerrito* Contra Costa County  $12.25
Emeryville* Alameda County $14.00

small employer (55 or less) *

large employer (56 or more) *

$15.20
Los Altos Santa Clara County $12.00
Los Angeles* LA County $10.50

small employer (25 or less)

large employer (26 or more)

$12.00
Malibu* LA County $10.50

small employer (25 or less)

large employer (26 or more)

$12.00
Milpitas* Santa Clara County $11.00
Mountain View Santa Clara County $13.00
Oakland Alameda County $12.86
Palo Alto Santa Clara County $12.00
Pasadena* LA County $10.50

small employer (25 or less)

large employer (26 or more)

$12.00
Richmond Contra Costa County $12.30
San Diego San Diego County $11.50
San Francisco* San Francisco County $14.00
San Jose* Santa Clara County $12.00
San Leandro* Alameda County $13.00
San Mateo San Mateo County $12.00

For-profit organizations

Non-profit organizations

$10.50
Santa Clara Santa Clara County $11.10
Santa Monica* LA County $10.50

small employer (25 or less)

large employer (26 or more)

$12.00
Sunnyvale* Santa Clara County $13.00
Los Angeles County*

unincorporated areas

$10.50

small employer (25 or less)

large employer (26 or more)

$12.00
Colorado $9.30
Connecticut $10.10
Delaware $8.25
Florida $8.10
Georgia $7.25
Hawaii

 

$9.25
Idaho $7.25
Illinois — all cities/counties except … $8.25
Chicago* $11.00
    Cook County*

(except for the Village of Barrington)

$10.00
Indiana $7.25
Iowa $7.25
Kansas $7.25
Kentucky $7.25
Louisiana $7.25
Maine — all cities/counties except … $9.00
Bangor $8.25
Portland $10.68
Maryland* — all cities/counties except … $9.25
Montgomery County

Increases 10/1/2017

$10.75
$11.50
Prince George’s County

Increases 10/1/2017

$10.75
$11.50
Massachusetts $11.00
Michigan $8.90
Minnesota “small employers” (employers with an annual sales volume of less than $500,000) $7.75
“large employers” (employers with an annual sales volume of $500,000+) $9.50
Mississippi $7.25
Missouri — all cities/counties except … $7.70
St. Louis $10.00
Montana $8.15
Nebraska $9.00
Nevada $8.25
New Hampshire $7.25
New Jersey $8.44
New Mexico — all cities/counties except … $7.50
Albuquerque $8.75
Las Cruces $9.20
Santa Fe $10.91
Bernalillo County $8.65
Santa Fe County $10.91
New York “Upstate” employers (excluding fast food employees) $9.70
  “Downstate” employers (excluding fast food employees) $10.00
  “Small” NYC employers (excluding fast food employees $10.50
  Fast food employees outside NYC $10.75
  “Large” NYC employers (excluding fast food employees) $11.00
  Fast food employees inside NYC $12.00
North Carolina $7.25
North Dakota $7.25
Ohio $8.15
Oklahoma $7.25
Oregon* — all cities/counties except … $10.25
Portland* $11.25
Nonurban Counties* (Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klmath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wheeler counties) $10.00
Pennsylvania $7.25
Rhode Island $9.60
South Carolina $7.25
South Dakota $8.65
Tennessee $7.25
Texas $7.25
Utah $7.25
Vermont $10.00
Virginia $7.25
Washington — all cities/counties except … $11.00
City of SeaTac (hospitality and transportation workers) $15.34
Seattle $13.00
small employer who does not pay towards medical benefits

(500 or less)

small employer who does pay towards medical benefits

(500 or less)

$11.00
large employer who does not pay towards medical benefits

(501 or more)

$15.00
large employer who does pay towards medical benefits

(501 or more)

$13.50
Tacoma $11.15
Washington DC* $12.50
West Virginia $8.75
Wisconsin $7.25
Wyoming $7.25
 * = increase in minimum wage effective July 1, 2017

 

Caveat: Please be advised that this information is being provided as a courtesy and that ePlace Solutions, Inc. does not track local laws and ordinances and will not update this information with changes in local laws and ordinances.

2017 Minimum Wage Increases — Cities and Counties

In an earlier article (“State Minimum Wage Increases for 2017“), we provided a breakdown of the increases to State minimum wage that are going into effect on January 1, 2017 (December 31, 2016 for New York).

In addition to these minimum wage increases, several cities (and some counties) have their own “local minimum wages” which are also increasing in the new year.

Minimum Wage as of November 21, 2016 Scheduled Increase for January 1, 2017
Arizona Cities
Flagstaff $8.05 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
California Cities/Counties
County of Los Angeles $10.00 No increase 1/1/17         To increase 7/1/17 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.50 No increase 1/1/17         To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
County/City of San Francisco $13.00 No increase 1/1/17 To increase 7/1/17 — $14.00
Berkeley Alameda County $12.53 No increase 1/1/17 To increase 10/1/17 — $13.75
Cupertino Santa Clara County $10.00 $12.00
El Cerrito Contra Costa County $11.60 $12.25
Emeryville Alameda County $13.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $14.00
small employer (55 or less)
large employer (56 or more) $14.82 No increase 1/1/17      May increase 7/1/17 based on CPI
Long Beach LA County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.50 No increase 1/1/17 To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
Los Altos Santa Clara County $10.00 $12.00
Los Angeles LA County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.50 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
Mailbu Los Angeles County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.50 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
Mountain View Santa Clara County $11.00 $13.00
Oakland Alameda County $12.55 No increase 1/1/17
Palo Alto Santa Clara County $11.00 No increase 1/1/17
Pasadena LA County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.50 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
Richmond Contra Costa County $11.52 $12.30
San Diego San Diego County $10.50 $11.50
San Jose Santa Clara County $10.30 No increase 1/1/17
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (101 or more) $10.30 $10.50
San Leandro Alameda County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
San Mateo San Mateo County $10.00 $12.00
For profit companies
small Non profit companies (25 or less) $10.00 No increase 1/1/17
large Non profit companies (26 or more $10.00 $10.50
Santa Clara Santa Clara County $11.00 No increase 1/1/17
Santa Monica LA County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.50 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
Sacramento Sacramento County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17         To increase 1/1/18 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.00 $10.50
Sunnyvale Santa Clara County $11.00 $13.00
Illinois Cities/Counties
Cook County $8.25 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.00
Chicago $10.50 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $11.00
Iowa Counties
Johnson County $9.15 $10.10
Linn County $7.25 $8.25
Polk County $7.25 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 4/1/17 — $8.75
Wapello County $7.25 $8.20
Maine Cities
Bangor $7.50 $9.00
Portland $10.10 $10.68
Maryland Counties
Montgomery County $10.75 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 10/1/17 — $11.50
Prince George’s County $10.75 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 10/1/17 — $11.50
New Mexico Cities/Counties
Bernalillo County $8.65 No increase 1/1/17
Santa Fe County $10.91 No increase 1/1/17
Albuquerque $8.75 No increase 1/1/17
Las Cruces $8.40 $9.20
Santa Fe $10.91 No increase 1/1/17
New York Cities/Counties
“Upstate” employers (excluding fast food employers) $9.00 for all employees but fast food employees $9.70
“Upstate” Fast Food employers $9.75 for fast food employees only $10.75
“Downstate” employers (excluding fast food employers) $9.00 for all employees but fast food employees $10.00
“Downstate” Fast Food employers $9.75 for fast food employees only $10.75
New York City “small” employers (excluding fast food employers) $9.00 for all employees but fast food employees $10.50
New York City “large” employers (excluding fast food employers) $9.00 for all employees but fast food employees $11.00
New York City Fast Food employers $9.75 for fast food employees only $12.00
~ “Upstate” = employers in all counties “upstate” from the greater NYC area              ~ “Downstate” = employers in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties                    ~ “Small” NYC employers = employers with 10 or fewer employees                            ~ “Large” NYC employers = employers with 11 or more employees
Oregon Cities/Counties
Nonurban Counties
(Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa Wheeler counties)
$9.50 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.00
Portland $9.75 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $11.25
Washington Cities
City of SeaTac (hospitality and transportation workers) $15.00 No increase 1/1/17
Seattle
small employer (500 or less) $12.00 $13.00
large employer (501 or more) $13.00 $15.00
Tacoma $10.35 $11.15

Recommendation for Employers

It is recommended that employers in the above-listed cities/counties prepare for these minimum wage increases.  In addition, if your city/county is not listed on this chart, we recommend that you check with your local Chamber of Commerce to determine the minimum wage in your city.

Caveat: Please be advised that this information is being provided as a courtesy and that ePlace Solutions, Inc. does not track local laws and ordinances and will not update this information with changes in local laws and ordinances.

DOL Partnership regarding worker misclassification — 34 States and Counting

Thirty-five states have agreed to “team up” with the US Department of Labor to investigate worker misclassification. Is your state one of them?

In 2015, Department of Labor launched an initiative to combat the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. As a part of this initiative, the Department of Labor sought to partner with the state agencies and agree to share information and conduct joint investigations regarding independent contractor misclassification. To date, 35 states have entered into a memorandum of understanding regarding worker misclassification issues.

These states are:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

What does this mean for employers in these states?

Employers in the above-listed states should expect collaborative efforts between their state agencies and the Department of Labor during a investigation into potential employee misclassification as the state and the Department of Labor will share information. This could lead to simultaneous, multi-agency investigations into worker classification. It is recommended that companies have qualified legal counsel review any existing independent contractor arrangements. In addition, before entering into an independent contractor relationship, speak with an HR Professional or qualified legal counsel to verify that the worker truly is an independent contractor.

New Maryland Minimum Wage and Overtime Law Notice

The Maryland Department of Labor, License, and Regulation recently released revised version of the following notices:

  • The Maryland Minimum Wage and Overtime Law Notice
  • The Maryland Minimum Wage and Overtime Law Notice for Prince George’s County
  • The Maryland Minimum Wage and Overtime Law Notice for Montgomery County

The new notices are available here:

This new poster must be posted in your workplace starting August 1, 2016.

Maryland law requires all employers to post, and keep posted, this notice in a conspicuous place in all of their establishments so as to permit employees to readily read it.

It is recommended that all Maryland employers review their posters and verify that all required postings are up-to-date.

Maryland Joins the Equal Pay Expansion trend

On May 19, 2016, Governor Lawrence Hogan signed the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act of 2016 (House Bill 1003) into law. This new law amends Maryland’s existing equal pay law and greatly expands the state’s equal pay protections.

As previously reported (in “Maryland May Be Next To Join The Equal Pay Bandwagon”) the new law amends the equal pay provisions of existing law by

  1. Including “gender identity” as a protected category under the equal pay law in addition to “sex”;
  2. Expanding its discrimination provisions to prohibit both
    1. Discrimination by paying less for work of comparable character at the same establishment or on the same operation and
    2. Discrimination by providing less favorable employment opportunities.
  3. Broadening the definition of “employees working in the same establishment” to mean employees working “for the same employer at workplaces located in the same county of the state”;
  4. Broadening the definition of “providing less favorable employment opportunities” to include
    1. Assigning or directing an employee into a less favorable career track,
    2. Failing to provide information about promotions or advancement in the full range of career track offered by the employer,
    3. Or otherwise limiting or depriving an employee of employment opportunities that would otherwise be available but for the employee’s sex or gender identity;
  5. Expressly prohibiting an employer from taking an adverse employment action because an employee
    1. Inquired about another employee’s wages,
    2. Disclosed the employee’s own wages,
    3. Discussed another employee’s wages if those wages have been disclosed voluntarily,
    4. Asked the employer to provide a reason of the employee’s wages, or
    5. Aided or encouraged another employee’s exercise of rights under this law.

While the law does include several protections for employees, Maryland employers are permitted to have written policies that establish “reasonable workday limitations” on the time, place, and manner for the discussion and disclosure of wages.

The new law goes into effect on October 1, 2016. It is recommended that all Maryland employers review their existing pay practices and policies to verify that they are in compliance with the new law.