Maryland has enacted legislation (House Bill 679) that expands the state's nondiscrimination law. House Bill 679 took effect on October 1, 2019.
Currently, the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act (MFEPA) prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against applicants and employees because of their race, color, religion, ancestry or national origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or genetic information. The law also prohibits harassment.
House Bill 679:
House Bill 679 amends the MFEPA to:
- Extend its protections to independent contractors.
- Cover all employers if an employee has filed a complaint alleging harassment.
- Make clear that prohibited harassment includes harassment based on race, color, religion, ancestry or national origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability.
- Establish that employers may be held liable for harassment:
- Expands the time that applicants and employees have to file harassment claims.
Maryland employers should review policies and practices to ensure compliance with House Bill 679. Supervisors should also be trained on the law.
Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.