In the latest Weekly Wright Report:
- Ban the Box Takes Effect in Maryland on February 29, 2020 – read now
- EMPLOYER ALERT: Now One Less Reporting Requirement on Federal EEO-1 Reports – read now
Ban the Box Takes Effect in Maryland on February 29, 2020
by Greg Currey
During the 2019 legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly passed Senate Bill 839 prohibiting employers with 15 or more employees from asking candidates about their criminal backgrounds on their employment applications. While Governor Hogan vetoed the legislation in May 2019, the legislature overrode the veto on January 30, 2020, which makes the law effective February 29, 2020.
The legislation, known commonly as “Ban the Box” prohibits employers from asking employees questions about their criminal backgrounds on their employment applications. However, unlike other similar statutes, including a Baltimore City ordinance, employers are permitted to ask questions about applicants’ criminal histories during the first, in-person interview. Furthermore, the law does not apply to employers who provide “programs, services or direct care to minors or to vulnerable adults,” or prohibit an employer from making inquiries that are required by federal or state law.
Violations of the law can result in civil penalties up to a $300 fine per offense. While this may seem like a small penalty, each applicant who submits a non-compliant form constitutes a separate offense.
While some form of this law was already in effect in Baltimore City, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County, it now applies statewide. Given the short time between the veto override and the effective date, it’s important that employers in Maryland immediately review their employment applications to ensure that their application forms are compliant. If you have questions about this law, including whether it applies to your business, please contact Gregory Currey.
EMPLOYER ALERT: NOW ONE LESS REPORTING REQUIREMENT ON FEDERAL EEO-1 REPORTS
Following litigation, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has opted to not renew its request to collect employer pay data (EEO-1 Component 2) for 2019, 2020 and 2021, according to a notice recently published.
EEO-1 Component 2 data consists of pay information broken down by job category, sex, race, and ethnicity. The agency determined that the burden imposed on employers to gather the data outweighs the usefulness of the data itself.
The notice, however, has no effect on the EEOC’s collection of Component 2 data for the 2017 and 2018 calendar years that employers with 100 or more employees and specified federal contractors are required to submit to the EEOC by September 30th as part of their EEO-1 filing.
Businesses with at least 100 employees, and federal contractors with at least 50 employees and a contract of $50,000 or more with the federal government, must continue to file Component 1 of the EEO-1 form.
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