The Maryland Equal Pay for Equal Work Act went into effect on October 1, 2016. (Md. Labor And Employment Code Ann. § 3-301, et seq.). The Act targets Maryland’s gender wage gap, already one of the country’s smallest, and extends to disparities based on gender identity as well as sex. The new law also encompasses employment opportunities—not just wages—and promotes transparency by guaranteeing employees’ right to discuss wages.
The Act applies to any “business, industry, profession, trade, or other enterprise in the State.” Small businesses are not excluded and the benefits apply to State and local governments as well.
Equal Pay and Employment Opportunities
The Act contains three significant worker protections:
To comply with the Act, employers must keep records of employee wages, job classifications, and other conditions of employment.
Notably, the law does allow for non-discriminatory variations in wage. This means disparities in pay are allowed if based on factors such as education, training, experience, or performance.
Employees who are denied equal pay may be awarded twice the difference in pay and an injunction against future violations.
If you have been denied equal pay, or you are an employer seeking help to comply with the Equal Pay Act, please contact one of our attorneys for assistance.