March 21st, 2024

Employment Law Update

Posted in:    Tagged:

Author: Dustin M. Dorsino

Employers in the Maryland and D.C. areas should be aware of several recent legal updates that will impact employees. Employers should take note of the dates these laws go into effect and evaluate whether any updates are needed to their policies, contracts, and other business documents.

D.C. Pay Transparency Act

Beginning in June, all D.C. employers will be required to post on all job listings and positions advertised the highest and lowest salary or hourly pay rate the employer in good faith projects for such position. Employers will also be required to disclose the existence of any healthcare benefits applicants may receive prior to the applicant’s first interview. Every D.C. employer should review its job posting and screening requirements, including those for internal job postings, to prepare to comply beginning on June 30, 2024.

While failure to comply does not give employees a private right of action, employers could face fines of up to $1,000 for the first violation, up to $5,000 for the second violation and up to $20,000 for each subsequent violation.

Maryland Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program

Last September, following the enactment of the Maryland Time to Care Act, the Maryland Department of Labor announced the initial contribution rate for the State’s new Family and Medical Leave Insurance Plan (the “Plan”) would be 0.90% of payrolls up to the Social Security taxable wage base, with that contribution amount to be divided evenly between employers and employees. Beginning on October 1, 2024, employers with at least 15 employees who elect coverage under the Plan must begin making tax contributions and withholding new amounts from their employees’ paychecks. However, Maryland employees will not be able to access Plan benefits until January 1, 2026.

Maryland Salary Threshold for Noncompete Agreements

Maryland’s Fair Wage Act of 2023 increased Maryland’s minimum wage to $15.00 per hour as of January 1, 2024. Current Maryland law prohibits employers from requiring, a current or prospective employee, to agree to a noncompete restriction if the employee earns 150% of Maryland’s minimum wage ($22.50 per hour or $46,800 annually) or less.

Importantly, employers may still include other typical restrictive covenants, including non-solicitation and confidentiality provisions, in their employment agreements. Please contact Stein Sperling employment law attorneys Darla J. McClure or Dustin M. Dorsino with any questions about the information provided above.