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New Pay Transparency Laws in Maryland and Washington D.C.

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It seems the push for pay transparency isn’t going away, as Maryland and Washington, D.C., recently passed new pay transparency laws. 

Maryland’s Pay Transparency Law

Prior to this new law, there was an existing law that took effect in October 2020. Under this law, employers were required to provide job applicants with a wage range for the position sought upon request. However, the new law requires employers to be more proactive about pay transparency. 

They must include the wage range for the position, a general description of included job benefits, and any other compensation offered in the job description. The wage range refers to the minimum and maximum hourly rate for the position. This is best set in reference to any applicable pay scale, any previously determined minimum and maximum hourly rate or salary, the minimum and maximum hourly rate or salary for someone holding a comparable position, or the amount that is budgeted for the job. These requirements ensure a fair and equal workplace where employees are aware of the compensation they can expect.

Additionally, the new law states that employers must keep a record showing compliance with the law. After the job is filled, these records must be kept for at least three years. On the flip side, even if the position is not filled, records must still be kept for three years after the job was posted.

Washington D.C.’s Pay Transparency Law

Washington, D.C.’s earlier law, the Wage Transparency Act of 2014, said employers could not prevent employees from discussing their own wages or the wages of another employee. This new law amends this narrower law.

Under the new law, employers must provide the minimum and maximum estimated hourly pay or salary in all job listings and descriptions. Before the first interview, they must also disclose the healthcare benefits employees would receive if they accepted the position.

Additionally, the law gives the Attorney General the power to investigate potential violations and bring court actions for enforcement. This ensures that the new laws are not just empty words, but have real teeth. It also bans employers from screening potential employees based on their wage history. They must also post a workplace notice about employee rights under the law, providing employers with a clear understanding of their obligations and responsibilities.