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Remember Maryland Employers: You Cannot Ask Candidates about Salary History

February 17, 2021

Laura L. Rubenstein

The first quarter of the year is typically when companies hire new employees, which is why it’s important to be reminded of the Maryland law that went into effect October 1, 2020. It’s a law that was easy to overlook, considering our country was in a pandemic, consumed with the upcoming presidential election, and some businesses were merely surviving. If you’re ready to hire again, be warned: You cannot ask candidates about their salary history.

Maryland employers are now prohibited from requesting or relying on a job applicant’s wage history to make decisions about employment or initial pay rates. However, once an initial offer of employment and compensation is made, employers may rely on any wage history voluntarily provided by the candidate to support a higher offer. The intent of the change is to level the playing field for women and men and end wage suppression.

Maryland employers must also provide applicants with the wage range for an open position upon request. Employers can no longer keep their pay information confidential.

This new law amends Maryland’s existing Equal Pay for Equal Work and applies to all private, state, and local government employers in Maryland.

Hopefully, the beginning of 2022 looks financially stable for your business and you’re poised to start interviewing. If you have any questions about this law or any other labor, employment or business issue, please contact LRubenstein@RKWlawgroup.com.

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