MLAW 2017 Legislative Agenda – Final Report

HB 1/SB 230 § Labor and Employment – Maryland Healthy Working Families Act
The legislation, which was introduced for the first time in 2013, requires Maryland employers to allow workers to earn a certain number of annual paid sick and safe days. The “safe time” component of the legislation requires employers to allow employees who have been victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault to use their accrued paid sick leave to care for their health after these incidents or to seek legal protections or new housing.
Outcome: PASSED

HB 429/SB 217 § Criminal Law – Sexual Offenses – Physical Resistance
This bill clarifies and modernizes Maryland’s sex crimes statutes by making it clear that rape victims are not required to physically resist sexual assault.
Outcome: PASSED

HB 428/SB 574 § Family Law – Child Conceived Without Consent – Termination of Parental Rights (Rape Survivor Family Protection Act)
The Rape Survivor Family Protection Act would create a legal process for rape victims to terminate the parental rights of rapists when a child is conceived as result of rape. Victims would be required to meet a clear and convincing standard of evidence. This is the same standard used for other termination of parental rights cases.
Outcome: Passed House and Senate in different forms; failed in conference committee.

HB 919/SB 971 § Procurement – Nondiscrimination Clauses and State Policy Prohibiting Discrimination
This bill prevented corporations seeking to contract with the state from discriminating against women when appointing members to their Board of Directors. Leading authorities on pay equity believe that placing more women on corporate boards will influence better compensation policies and practices and offer a diversity of perspectives and experience.
Outcome: Passed Senate but failed in House.

HB 398/SB 404 § Labor and Employment – Equal Pay – Job Announcement and Salary History Information Disclosures
This bill prohibited discriminatory practices and increased transparency from employers when hiring women.  Employers could not ask past salary history and employers over a certain size would have to disclose a salary range for the position when requested by the applicant. This bill would address the perpetuation of gender pay disparities by not relying on a job candidate’s prior salary in hiring or setting pay.
Outcome: Unfavorable report in Senate Finance Committee. 

HB 1614/SB 1116 § Maryland Fair Scheduling, Wages and Benefits Act and HB1615/SB1145 § Maryland Fair Scheduling Act This bill would provide baseline protections, like advance notice of work schedules, predictability pay for last minute schedule changes, and compensation for on-call shifts, to incentivize employers to create stable, predictable schedules and to ensure that employees are compensated for their time and flexibility.
Outcome: No vote in committees.

HB 214 § Discrimination in Employment – Conditions Related to Pregnancy or Childbirth
This bill made clarifications to Maryland’s existing law to ensure that pregnant workers with a medical need for workplace accommodations due to normal pregnancy are in fact provided reasonable accommodations. It would also strengthen the law by clarifying that reasonable accommodations must also be provided for lactation-related needs. It would also strengthen the law to prohibit employers from forcing pregnant workers out on leave when they could be reasonably accommodated since many women cannot afford or do not want to take leave and could continue working if they were provided another reasonable accommodation.
Outcome:  No vote in committee.

Click here to download a PDF version of this report. 2017 MLAW Agenda Final Report

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