Welcome to the HoCoHRS Legislative Affairs page!

We understand how vital you are to the development and implementation of sound HR practices and procedures. For that reason, HoCoHRS is dedicated to bringing you timely updates on key legislative proposals both on the state and federal level – legislation that can (and so often does) have a profound impact on the HR profession and how we do our jobs.  We hope you find this information useful and encourage you to check back next month for another update.
 
For additional resources on HR policy and advocacy, and to view the public policy issues SHRM’s team will be tracking in 2020, we encourage you to visit SHRM’s Advocacy Webpage at https://advocacy.shrm.org/

Two additional ways to keep up with the SHRM advocacy team: through their mobile app (SHRM Advocacy), or on Twitter by following them at @SHRMATeam or through #SHRMLeg.

Happy Advocating!
Cheryl Brown
Legislative Affairs Chair


Updates From the Maryland 2020 Legislative Session

The Maryland General Assembly opened its 2020 session on January 8th.  This year, 2,745 bills were filed and a total of 600 bills were passed.  The session was set to end on April 6th but was cut short due to the worlwide COVID-19 outbreak. Consequently, the session concluded on March 18th. Below is a summary of some of the bills that passed which may be meaningful to you.

Economic Stabilization Act (HB1018/SB780) - What was once voluntary, will become mandatory.  Effective october 1, 2020, Maryland's 'mini-WARN Act' will require empl9oyers with at least 50 employees operating an industrial, commercial or business enterprise in the State for more than one year to provide 60 day written notice prior to a reduction in operations.

Salary History Ban (HB123) - Effective October 1, 2020, this bill imposes a number of obligations and prohibiitons on the employer regarding an applicant's wage history: (1) It requires an employer to provide the wage range for the position in question upon an applicant's request. (2) It prohibits an employer from relying upon an applicant's wage history in screening, hiring, or determining wages. (3) It prohibits an employer from asking for wage history, whether orally, in writing, or through an employee or agent, or from a current or former employer. (4) It prohibits an employer from retaliating against, or refusing to interview, hire, or employ an applicant who did not provide their wage history or who requested the wage range for the position in question. (5) It acknowledges that an applicant may voluntarily provide wage history. (6) After a conditional offer of employment is  made, it permits the employer to confirm and to rely on voluntrarily-provided wage history to support a higher wage offer...

Hair Textures and Hirstyle Discrimination Ban (HB1444/SB531) - Effective October 1, 2020, this bill adds "protective hairstyle" including braids, twists, and locks to the list of characteristics that are protected from race discrimination under state law.

Facial Recognition Technology for Applicants (HB1202) - Effective October 1, 2020, this bill prohibits an employer's use of facial recognition technology during an applicant's interview unless the applicant concents by signing a written waiver.

Apprenticeship Start-Up Act of 2020 (SB751) - As the skills gap continues to grow in industries such as building and construction, health care, and information technolgy, employers are revisiting apprenticeships as an effective means to train workers in skilled occupations that do not require a bachelor's degree. Effective June 1, 2020, this legislation extends the state income tax credit for employers who hire apprectices, increases the amount of credit per apprentice from $1000 to $3000 per tax year, and expands the eligiblity of the program to include youth apprentices.

Minimum Wage Update - Maryland joined 21 states that increased their minimum wage rates on Jan 1, 2020, to $11 per hour. DC and Montgomery County, MD, will increase rates beginning July 1, 2020. On Jan 1, 2021, minimum wage increases to $11.75 per hour.