Maryland Governor Wes Moore has signed into law SB 525/HB 649, which will require employers to include wage ranges in internal and external postings for positions that will be physically performed, at least in part, in the state of Maryland (the “Wage Transparency Law”).  The Wage Transparency Law will take effect on October 1, 2024.

Definitions

Under the Wage Transparency Law, a job “posting” is defined as any “solicitation intended to recruit applicants for a specific available position,” and  includes job recruitment directly by the employer as well as through third parties, such as job posting websites.

Employers will be required to disclose the “wage range,” meaning the position’s minimum and maximum hourly rate or salary, set by the employer in good faith by reference to:

  • Any applicable pay scale;
  • Any previously determined minimum and maximum hourly rate or salary;
  • The minimum and maximum hourly rate or salary of an individual holding a comparable position at the time the job is posted; or
  • The budgeted amount for the position.

In each public or internal posting for a position, employers will be required to disclose: (1) the wage range; (2) a “general description of benefits”; and (3) “any other compensation offered for the position.” Where no public or internal job posting is made for a given position, the employer must disclose the three components identified above to applicants: (i) before any discussion of compensation with the applicant; or (ii) at any other time upon the applicant’s request. 

Record-Keeping

Under the Wage Transparency Law, employers will be required to maintain records of employee wages, job classifications, and other conditions of employment for at least 3 years after a position is filled, or if the position is not filled, for at least 3 years after the position was initially posted. 

Enforcement

The Wage Transparency Law does not provide for a private right of action for employees or applicants, and instead will be enforced by the Maryland Department of Labor (“DOL”).  The Maryland DOL is authorized to issue an order compelling compliance with the law for a first violation; for a second violation, at the Maryland DOL’s discretion, employers may be assessed a civil penalty of up to $300 for each employee or applicant for employment for whom the employer is not in compliance.  For each subsequent violation within three years, the amount of the civil penalty may increase up to $600.   

Takeaways

In advance of the Wage Transparency Law’s effective date, employers should begin to plan for how to determine good-faith salary ranges for positions covered by the law and ensure both public and internal job postings are in compliance. Employers must also abide by pre-existing requirements under Maryland law that prohibit asking for an applicant’s wage history during the recruitment process or relying on an applicant’s wage history in determining their compensation for a position.  However, after making an initial offer of employment, an employer may use wage history voluntarily provided by an applicant solely to increase the wage offered to them.

Photo of Allan Bloom Allan Bloom

Allan Bloom is the co-chair of Proskauer’s Labor & Employment Law Department and a nationally recognized litigator and advisor who represents employers, business owners, and management in a broad range of employment and labor law matters. As a litigator, Allan has successfully defended…

Allan Bloom is the co-chair of Proskauer’s Labor & Employment Law Department and a nationally recognized litigator and advisor who represents employers, business owners, and management in a broad range of employment and labor law matters. As a litigator, Allan has successfully defended many of the world’s leading companies against claims for unpaid wages, employment discrimination, breach of contract and wrongful discharge, both at the trial and appellate court levels as well as in arbitration, before government agencies, and in private negotiations. He has secured complete defense verdicts for clients in front of juries, as well as injunctions to protect clients’ confidential information and assets.

As the leader of Proskauer’s Wage and Hour Practice Group, Allan has been a strategic partner to a number of Fortune 500 companies to help them avoid, minimize and manage exposure to wage and hour-related risk. Allan’s views on wage and hour issues have been featured in The New York Times, Reuters, Bloomberg and Fortune, among other leading publications. His class-action defense work for clients has saved billions of dollars in potential damages.

Allan is regularly called on to advise operating companies, management companies, fund sponsors, boards of directors and senior leadership on highly sensitive matters including executive and key person transitions, internal investigations and strategic workforce planning. He has particular expertise in the financial services industry, where he has litigated, arbitrated, and mediated disputes for more than 20 years.

A prolific author and speaker, Allan was the Editor of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Journal from 2012 to 2017. He has served as an author, editor and contributor to a number of leading treatises in the field of employment law, including ADR in Employment Law (ABA/Bloomberg BNA), Employment Discrimination Law (ABA/Bloomberg BNA), Cutting Edge Advances in Resolving Workplace Disputes (Cornell University/CPR), The Employment Law Review (Law Business Research, U.S. Chapter Author), and The Complete Compliance and Ethics Manual (SCCE).

Allan has served as longtime pro bono counsel to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and The Public Theater, among other nonprofit organizations.  He is a past Vice Chair of Repair the World, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes volunteers and their communities to take action to pursue a just world, and a past recipient of the Lawyers Alliance Cornerstone Award for extraordinary contributions through pro bono legal services.

Allan is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and has been recognized as a leading practitioner by Chambers since 2011.

Photo of Laura Fant Laura Fant

Laura Fant is a special employment law counsel in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-administrative leader of the Counseling, Training & Pay Equity Practice Group. Her practice is dedicated to providing clients with practical solutions to common (and uncommon) employment concerns…

Laura Fant is a special employment law counsel in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-administrative leader of the Counseling, Training & Pay Equity Practice Group. Her practice is dedicated to providing clients with practical solutions to common (and uncommon) employment concerns, with a focus on legal compliance, risk management and mitigation strategies, and workplace culture considerations.

Laura regularly counsels clients across numerous industries on a wide variety of employment matters involving recruitment and hiring, employee leave and reasonable accommodation issues, performance management, and termination of employment . She also advises on preparing, implementing and enforcing employment and separation agreements, employee handbooks and company policies, as well as provides training on topics including discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Laura is a frequent contributor to Proskauer’s Law and the Workplace blog and The Proskauer Brief podcast.

Photo of Scott Tan Scott Tan

Scott Tan is a law clerk in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group.

Scott earned his J.D. from the UCLA School of Law, where he served as a problem developer and member of…

Scott Tan is a law clerk in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group.

Scott earned his J.D. from the UCLA School of Law, where he served as a problem developer and member of the Moot Court Honors Board. He also worked as a research assistant for Dean Jennifer Mnookin and Professor Hiroshi Motomura.