Maryland Salary History Ban Goes Into Effect Soon

By Kris Janisch
Published Sept. 10, 2020

Maryland Salary History Ban

The salary ban amendments to Maryland’s Equal Pay for Equal Work law go into effect Oct. 1, 2020.

Maryland has joined the growing number of states with a salary history ban. Its law goes into effect Oct. 1.

At a high level, Maryland’s salary history ban covers two areas that impact employers when making hires:

  • Prohibiting previous pay history in the decision-making process
  • Requiring employers to provide the job’s wage range upon request

Passed this last spring without the governor’s signature, the measure amends Maryland’s Equal Pay for Equal Work law. It also includes a component that applies gender-based pay discrimination to job applicants as well as employees.

Nearly 20 states and more than 20 smaller jurisdictions have salary history ban laws on the books.

Salary History Ban in Maryland

With the salary history ban in Maryland to take effect soon, employers should ensure their hiring practices and procedures align with the new law.

Salary Histories

The new law places additional restrictions on employers during the hiring process. Starting Oct. 1, employers may not:

  • Use an individual’s pay history when screening applicants for employment
  • Use wage history to determine a new hire’s pay
  • Ask applicants about salary history

While employers can use voluntarily supplied salary history when making decisions, doing so must align with fair gender pay laws.

Wage Ranges

The second portion of the salary history law is more straightforward.

When requested by an applicant, employers must provide the wage range for the position. However, the language in the legislation does not define “wage range.”

Lastly, employers who violate the law can incur civil penalties depending on the situation, up to $600 for each application in which the law was breached.

Employment Law in Maryland

In recent years, Maryland lawmakers have been busy crafting and enacting new employment laws.

The state plans to increase its minimum wage to $15 by 2023. It increased to $11 an hour earlier in 2020.

Meanwhile, Maryland has also passed a hair discrimination law, as well as “Ban the Box” legislation, along with workplace harassment laws and civil penalties for violations of its equal pay law.

Employers with locations in Maryland may want to brush up on the state’s new employment laws.

Salary History Bans Nationwide

Salary history bans have gained momentum in recent years, especially as they tie to the #MeToo Movement.

These laws connected to a growing movement for employment law nationwide, reflected in updated worker protections, paid leave, minimum wage and more.

Levels of compliance concerns for employers will likely continue to expand in the coming years, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the need for new employment laws.

This Employment Law News blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

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