Maryland Passes Changes to Labor and Employment Laws

The Maryland state legislature has passed a flurry of laws affecting employers moving forward. Labor and employment-related changes include the following:

  • Maryland House Bill 571, effective October 1, 2024, further delays the state’s Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program. Employers contributions now begin on July 1, 2025, and employees may begin taking leave benefits on July 1, 2026. The definition of a covered employee has also changed, now requiring employees to perform services in the state over the four most recently completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the date on which leave is to begin.
  • Maryland House Bill 385, effective October 1, 2024, requires that employers must provide written notice containing certain information to an employee at the time of hiring, including: the rate of pay of the employee; the regular paydays that the employer sets; and leave benefits. The bill also requires that an employee’s pay stub include the following information in writing:
    • 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 for which the payment is made;
    • Unless exempt from overtime, the number of hours worked during the pay period;
    • The rates of pay;
    • 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, commissions on sales, or other bases; and
    • For each employee paid at a piece rate, the applicable piece rates of pay and the number of pieces completed at each piece rate.
  • Maryland House Bill 1388, effective June 1, 2024, bans noncompete provisions for veterinary and health care professionals earning $350,000 or less in total compensation. For those earning more, noncompete restrictions may not exceed a one year timeline and a 10 miles geographic range. Note that the FTC’s recent general ban on noncompete agreements will likely supersede this law, effectively banning noncompete provisions regardless of salary. 
  • Maryland Senate Bill 525, effective October 1, 2024, requires employers to disclose in each public or internal posting for each position the wage range and a general description of benefits and any other compensation offered for the position. This requirement applies only for jobs that are physically performed, at least in part, in Maryland.
  • Maryland House Bill 136, effective July 1, 2024, prohibits employers from taking or threatening to take adverse action against an employee because the employee takes certain actions regarding rights and responsibilities, complaints, investigations, proceedings, or hearings under the state’s wage and hour laws.
  • Maryland House Bills 602 and 1397, both effective October 1, 2024, expand the state’s Equal Pay Act – which currently prohibits employers from discriminating against employees by paying one employee less than another employee based on the protected classes of sex or gender identity – by adding additional protected classes, including race, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation. Additionally, employers are prohibited from providing less favorable employment opportunities based on sex, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, and gender identity.
  • Maryland House Bill 465, effective October 1, 2024, increases the maximum civil penalty for the knowing failure of an employer to properly classify an individual as an employee from $5,000 to $10,000.
  • Maryland Senate Bill 843, effective October 1, 2024, alters the frequencies in which industrial noise must be for an employer to be required to provide workers compensation to a covered employee for hearing loss; alters the method used to determine the percentage of hearing loss deafness for purposes of workers compensation; and alters the method used to determine the deduction required to be made to allow for the average amount of hearing loss from nonoccupational causes in the population for purposes of calculating benefits for occupational deafness.
  • Maryland Senate Bill 413, effective October 1, 2024, adds “military status” (i.e., a member of the uniformed services or reserves, or a dependent of such a member) to the list of protected characteristics under the state’s anti-discrimination law.
  • Maryland Senate Bill 478, effective July 1, 2024, allows employers to grant a preference in hiring or promotion to the spouse of a full-time active member of the uniformed services.

Employers should review the above changes to ensure compliance by the laws’ effective dates.