Maryland's 2024 Legislative Session Brings Substantial New Obligations For Employers

The Maryland General Assembly recently adjourned for the year, but not before legislators enacted changes to Maryland employment law. The new compliance obligations required by these changes are summarized below.
United States Employment and HR
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The Maryland General Assembly recently adjourned for the year, but not before legislators enacted changes to Maryland employment law. The new compliance obligations required by these changes are summarized below.

  • Salary Posting Requirement: Effective October 1, 2024, employers must include a wage range, and a general description of benefits and any other compensation offered for a position in any public or internal job postings. This new pay transparency measure applies to all positions that will be "physically performed" at "least in part in" Maryland. Additionally, employers must keep the postings for at least three years after the position is filled or, if the position is not filled, the date on which the position was first posted. The first violation will result in a warning letter from the State. Employers that fail to disclose required wage ranges a second time will be subject to a $300 fine for each employee or applicant for whom the employer is not in compliance. Thus, if a position has 100 applicants, the total fine could be as high as $30,000. The fine for subsequent violations increases to $600 per employee or applicant.
  • New Pay Stub Requirements: Effective October 1, 2024, Maryland employers must provide a written notice at the time of hiring detailing the rate of pay, regular paydays, and leave benefits. In addition, an employee's physical pay stub or online pay statement must include:
    • The employer's name registered with the state, address, and telephone number
    • The date of payment and the beginning and ending dates of the pay period
    • The number of hours worked during the pay period (unless the employee is exempt from overtime requirements under federal and state law)
    • The pay rate(s)
    • The gross and net pay earned during the pay period
    • The amount and name of all deductions
    • A list of additional bases of pay, including bonuses, sales commissions, or other bases
    • For piece-rate employees, the applicable piece rates of pay and number of pieces completed at each piece rate

Employers that fail to provide a pay stub or online pay statement will be subject to a fine of up to $500 for each employee who was not provided a pay stub.

  • Non-compete Agreements: The new law bans non-compete provisions for employees who are (1) required to be licensed under Maryland's Health Occupations Article and earn less than $350,000/year; and (2) licensed as a veterinary practitioner or veterinary technician. For covered healthcare providers earning more than $350,000, noncompete agreements may not exceed one year from the last day of employment and may not restrict the employee from working in a geographic region more than 10 miles from their primary place of employment. The law becomes effective for covered veterinary practitioners and technicians on June 1, 2024, and for covered healthcare providers on July 1, 2025. These prohibitions are not retroactive and will apply only to agreements entered into on or after the respective effective dates.

Reminder: Maryland law also bans non-compete agreements for low-wage workers, prohibiting such provisions for any employee earning less than 150% of the minimum wage (for 2024, $22.50 per hour, or $46,800 annually). All such agreements are void regardless of when they were entered into.

  • Employment Discrimination – Sexual Orientation: Beginning on October 1, 2024, Maryland's Equal Pay for Equal Work law will be expanded to prohibit employment discrimination in compensation based on sexual orientation, in addition to the existing protections for sex and gender identity. Employers must pay employees who work in the same establishment and perform work of comparable character the same rate, regardless of sexual orientation.
  • Employment Discrimination – Military Status: Effective October 1, 2024, "military status" is now a protected characteristic under Maryland's anti-discrimination law barring discrimination in employment and housing. Under the new provision, "military status" includes a member of the uniformed services, a member of a reserve component of the armed forces, or a dependent of the member, including a spouse and child.
  • Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance: Under the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program enacted in 2022, eligible employees at virtually any Maryland employer may receive up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave per benefit year for reasons such as caring for a child after the child's birth. This session, Maryland delayed implementation of the FAMLI program: employers are now required to begin making contributions to the program on July 1, 2025, and benefits for workers will begin July 1, 2026. Prior to the delay, employer payments were scheduled to begin on October 1, 2024, and the worker benefits were scheduled to begin on January 1, 2026.

As the effective dates for the new Maryland employment laws are rapidly approaching, employers should update their policies and procedures to ensure that they comply with the litany of new requirements.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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