Changes to Maryland's Equal Pay for Equal Work Law

Posted By: Tommy Tompsett

On October 1st, the landscape of Maryland’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Law changed.

Employers should carefully review this bill and update their employment policies.  Before the October 1st amendments became law, Maryland's Equal Pay for Equal Work law required that an employer, regardless of the employer's size, may not discriminate between employees in any occupation by paying a wage to employees of one sex at a rate less than the rate paid to employees of the opposite sex if both employees work in the same establishment and perform work of comparable character or work on the same operation, in the same business, or of the same type.

The newly enacted legisation expands the current law in the following ways:

  • prohibits wage discrimination based on gender identity;
  • an employer may not prohibit an employee from inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing his/her wages or the wages of another employee or requesting that the employer provide a reason for why the employee’s wages are a condition of employment;
  • an employer may not provide less favorable employment opportunities based on sex or gender identity. This
    includes:
    • assigning or directing the employee into a less favorable career track, if career tracks are offered, or
      position;
    • failing to provide information about promotions or advancement in the full range of career tracks offered by
      the employer; or
    • limiting or depriving an employee of employment opportunities that would otherwise be available to the
      employee but for the employee’s sex or gender identity.

A violation can be filed no later than 3 years after the employee receives the last paycheck after
termination of employment. What may happen?

  1. An Injunction;
  2. Actual damages + Liquidated Damages + Attorney’s Fees, or
  3. Misdemeanor criminal conviction.

The National Law Review has recently published two (similar) articles on the expansion of this law, which can be found below:

The National Law Review Article 1

The National Law Review Article 2