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On behalf of The Law Firm of Campen & Manganaro.

An expansion to the Maryland Equal Pay law, prohibiting pay discrimination on the basis of gender identity, was recently signed into law by Gov. Larry Hogan and will go into effect Oct. 1, 2016.  This new legislation is called the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act.

Under the new act, the law prohibits pay discrimination from employers based not only on sex, but now gender identity as well.  This expansion also provides some new employment protections for employees, such as prohibiting employers from “providing less favorable employment opportunities,” such as limiting employment opportunities or placing certain employees on “less favorable career tracks,” based on sex or gender identity.

In addition, the new legislation advocates pay transparency, thus helping to close the wage gap by allowing employees to discuss their wages openly with one another and prohibiting employers from retaliating against them for doing so, although it does allow employers some leeway by allowing them to set guidelines.  These include reasonable times and places during the workday to discuss wages, as well as prohibiting employees from disclosing another employee’s wages or the company’s trade secrets, and protecting an employee’s right not to disclose wage information should they chose not to do so.

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