Maryland Updates the Equal Pay for Equal Work Workplace Posting

Maryland Equal Pay for Equal WorkThe Maryland Department of Labor has updated the required Maryland Equal Pay for Equal Work workplace posting to reflect recent changes in the law.  All Maryland employers regardless of size or industry are required to post the updated workplace posting.

 

What does the Equal Pay for Equal Work law cover?

The Maryland Equal Pay for Equal Work law provides that:

  • An employer may not discriminate by paying a wage to employees of one sex or gender identity at a rate less than that paid to employees of another sex or gender identity if both employees work in the same establishment and perform comparable work.  Under the law, employees work in the “same establishment” if they work for the same employer at workplaces located in the same county.
  • An employer may not provide less favorable employment opportunities based on sex or gender identity.
  • An employer may not prohibit an employee from inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing the wages of an employee or 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 require an employee to sign a waiver or other document that purports to deny the employee the right to disclose or discuss the employee’s wages.
  • An employer can pay a variation in a wage that is based on:
  1.  a seniority system that does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender identity;
  2.  merit system that does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender identity;
  3.  jobs that require different abilities or skills;
  4.  jobs that require performance of different duties or services;
  5.  work that is performed on different shifts or at different times of the day;
  6.  a system that measures performance based on quality or quantity of production; or
  7.  a bona fide factor other than sex or gender identity including education, training or experience under certain circumstances.

 

Increased Penalties for Multiple Violations

The Equal Pay for Equal Work law was amended by 2019 House Bill 790 which increases the penalties that may be imposed against an employer who has violated the law multiple times.  HB 790 added to the Equal Pay for Equal Work law section 3-308(d)(2) which provides that if an employer is found to have violated the subtitle two or more times within a 3-year period, the Labor Commissioner or a court may require the employer to pay a civil penalty equal to 10% of the amount of damages owed by the employer.  Civil penalties are to be paid to the state’s General Fund to offset the cost of enforcement.  The penalty provision went into effect on October 1, 2019.

 

Maryland Department of Labor Renamed

In addition to the updated penalty provision, the Equal Pay for Equal Work posting also reflects a change in the name of the administrative agency made pursuant to 2019 House Bill 60.  Effective July 1, 2019, the “Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation” became known as the “Maryland Department of Labor.”  The Maryland Department of Labor has updated the name and logo on several of its workplace postings.  The Department has indicated that the name change is only minor.  Employers are only required to post the updated Equal Pay for Equal Work posting.  Employers will note that the Department’s telephone number and address have not changed.

 

Who must post?

All Maryland employers are required to post conspicuously in each place of employment the updated Equal Pay for Equal Work notice.  (MD Lab & Emp Code § 3-306).  Two ways to ensure posting compliance –

  1.  Choose a new Maryland All-On-One™ Labor Law Poster or Mobile Poster Pak™, or
  2.  Update your existing Maryland product with the 2019 Maryland Equal Pay for Equal Work Peel ‘N Post sticker.

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