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Anne Arundel County, Maryland, Enacts New Anti-Discrimination Law

05 Jun

Update Applicable to:Effective date
All employers with at least 1 worker in Anne Arundel CountyMay 20, 2024

What happened?

On April 15, 2024, the Anne Arundel County Council enacted a wide-ranging bill against discrimination. This bill, which includes provisions for private employers and public accommodations, serves as an amendment to an existing law that already prohibits discrimination in housing.

What are the details?

The amendment concerns General Provisions like Equity and Human Rights, Boards, Commissions, and Similar Bodies, and the Human Relations Commission and is designed to foster a more balanced and inclusive work environment.

Key Bites for Employers

  • Anti-Discrimination Provisions: adds protections against discrimination in public accommodations and employment. This means employers are required to ensure their workplaces are free from discriminatory practices based on the protected categories outlined in the bill.
  • Complaint Process: modifies the process for the initial review of a complaint of discrimination. It also establishes a process for investigation, referral, and hearings on complaints of discrimination. Employers may be subject to these processes if a complaint is filed against them.
  • Civil Fines: provides for civil fines for violations of anti-discrimination provisions. Employers who violate these provisions may be subject to fines.
  • Enforcement of Orders: provides for enforcement of orders issued by the Human Relations Commission. If an employer is found to have violated anti-discrimination provisions, they may be subject to enforcement orders.

Business Considerations

  • It is imperative for employers to familiarize themselves with the newly implemented regulations and make necessary adjustments to their existing workplace policies and practices.
  • Employers must comprehend the enhanced protections that the new regulations afford to their employees.
  • Ensuring compliance with these new regulations in all workplace policies and practices is a responsibility that employers must undertake.
  • Employers are encouraged to facilitate training sessions aimed at educating their teams about the implications of the new law.
  • The establishment of a confidential and efficient system for reporting instances of discrimination is crucial, and employers must also ensure that immediate and appropriate action is taken upon receipt of a complaint.
  • Employers are required to maintain comprehensive records of all actions undertaken in response to complaints. This will aid in transparency and accountability.

Source References


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