Maryland has enacted legislation (Senate Bill 839) that will prohibit covered employers from inquiring about applicants' criminal history prior to the first in-person interview. Senate Bill 839 took effect Feb. 29, 2020.
Senate Bill 839 applies to employers with 15 or more full-time employees.
Under the law, prior to the first in-person interview, employers are generally prohibited from requiring an applicant to disclose whether they have a criminal record or have had criminal accusations brought against them. The law permits employers to may make such inquiries during the first in-person interview.
Senate Bill 839 also prohibits employers from taking adverse action against an applicant or employee who has filed a complaint alleging a violation of the law.
The law doesn't apply to an employer that provides programs, services, or direct care to vulnerable adults. Additionally, the law doesn't prohibit an employer from making an inquiry or taking other action that the employer is required or authorized to take under another applicable state or federal law.
Covered employers should remove criminal history questions from application forms and review hiring procedures to ensure compliance with Senate Bill 839. Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.