Maryland becomes one of 17 other states, D.C. and Puerto Rico that has passed legislation making it illegal for public accommodations, housing, and employment to discriminate against people based on gender identity.
What Maryland’s Fairness for All Act Means to Employers and Businesses
Treatment of Employees
Basically, employers with transgender employees must not treat them any differently than any other employee on the basis of their gender identity. Maryland employers cannot:
- Refuse to hire a transgender applicant based on gender identity.
- Fire an employee on the basis of gender identity.
- Fail to promote or to provide training and benefits to qualified employees on the basis of their gender identities.
An employer may uphold appearance, grooming, and dress standards as long as transgender employees are allowed to “dress consistent with the employee’s gender identity” (20–605a2).
Treatment of Customers and Tenants
Businesses that provide “public accommodation” (establishments where the public has access and receive goods or services) like hotels, restaurants, bars, gas stations, movie theaters, stadiums, and retail stores cannot treat transgender persons differently than other patrons and guests based on their gender identity.
For example, an establishment cannot refuse service to a transgender person, and landlords cannot refuse to rent to a transgender person on the basis of gender identity.
Maryland Protected Classifications
Gender identity is now one of the ten classifications protected from discrimination by Maryland law.
- National origin
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity
What is “Gender Identity”?
The Maryland law defines gender identity as a:
“…persistent, bona fide gender-related identity and the consistent, public manifestation of that identity in the gender-related appearance of an individual regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth the gender-related identity, appearance, expression, or behavior of a person, regardless of the person’s assigned sex at birth, which may be demonstrated by:
(1) Consistent and uniform assertion of the person’s gender identity; or
(2) Any other evidence that the gender identity is sincerely held as part of the person’s core identity.”
What Changed on Maryland’s Employment Discrimination is Unlawful Posting?
…And Is the Posting Required? NO.
UPDATE: October 7, 2014. Maryland’s revised posting adds gender identity to the list of protected classifications and also ancestry, but the GovDocs Research Department has confirmed with the Executive Associate of Maryland Commission of Civil Rights that Maryland does not require employers to display the Employment Discrimination is Unlawful posting. Therefore this is not a mandatory change that employers need to action on in terms of updating postings.