New Discrimination Protections in Maryland’s Anne Arundel and Montgomery Counties.


Employers with employees in Anne Arundel and Montgomery Counties should be aware of developments that increase the protections for employees against discrimination.

In Anne Arundel County, a new, comprehensive discrimination law has been passed that expands the scope of the existing law beyond housing to include employment. Among other things, the protected categories under the law have been extended to cover an employee’s “perceived” protected class and their association with someone in a protected class. The law now specifically prohibits retaliation as well. The law also sets up a mechanism for employees to file complaints with the Anne Arundel County Human Rights Commission, with an investigative and hearing process. (This is similar to existing processes in several other counties). Should the Commission find discrimination, however, the remedies are limited to a cease and desist order and a civil fine of up to $5,000 per offense. Moreover, if an employee also files a complaint under federal or state law, the County complaint will terminate.

In Montgomery County, a new law will prohibit all employers with any employees in the County from asking for or seeking healthcare information unless it is necessary to determine if an applicant meets job qualifications that have been published prior to the acceptance of applications. Employers are also prohibited from asking applicants about sexual or reproductive health information, including information related to abortion care, miscarriage, contraception, sterilization, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, fertility treatment, gender affirming care, or family planning. It is worth noting that, under Maryland law, employers may not require applicants to provide health information that is unrelated to the job, while the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from asking disability-related questions of applicants prior to a conditional job offer. The law will take effect on July 26, 2024.