Maryland Employment Law Update — May 2019

Maryland

Gender Diversity in the Boardroom

On May 13, 2019, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed legislation (H.B. 1116) to promote gender diversity in corporate management and boardrooms by modifying current tax law at Md. Tax-Prop. Code Ann. § 11-101. Under the modified law, those that must submit a report on personal property to the State Department of Assessments and Taxation that are a tax-exempt, domestic nonstock corporation with an operating budget exceeding $5,000,000, or a domestic stock corporation with total sales exceeding $5,000,000, must include in its report the number of female board members and the total number of members on the corporation’s board of directors.

The law is effective October 1, 2019.

Read MD H.B. 1116

Organ and Bone Marrow Donation Leave

On May 13, 2019, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed legislation (H.B. 1284) creating the following unpaid leave for eligible employees:

  • Leave of up to 60 business days in any 12-month period to serve as an organ donor; and
  • Leave of up to 30 business days in any 12-month period to serve as a bone marrow donor.

To receive donation leave, the eligible employee must provide written physician verification to the employer that:

  • The eligible employee is an organ donor or a bone marrow donor; and
  • There is a medical necessity for the donation of the organ or bone marrow.

Donation leave may not be taken concurrently with any leave taken under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

Employers may not consider any period of time during which an eligible employee takes donation leave to be a break in his or her continuous service related to the right to salary adjustments, sick leave, vacation, paid time off, annual leave, or seniority. Additionally, an eligible employee who returns to work after taking organ donation leave is entitled to be restored by an employer:

  • To the position of employment held when the donation leave began; or
  • To an equivalent position with equivalent employment benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.

However, employers may deny restoration of the eligible employee’s position because of conditions unrelated to the exercise of rights under the leave law.

The law also states that during any period that an eligible employee takes donation leave, the employer must maintain coverage of a group health plan for the duration of the leave and in the same manner that coverage would have been provided if the employee had been continuously employed. Lastly, an employer must pay commissioned-based employees any commission that becomes due because of work the eligible employee performed before taking leave.

The law is effective October 1, 2019.

Read MD H.B. 1284

Security Breach Investigation

On April 30, 2019, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed legislation (H.B. 1154) modifying the state’s security breach investigation law. Under the law, a business that maintains (but does not own or license) computerized data that includes the personal information of a Maryland resident must notify, as soon as practicable, the owner or licensee of the information upon discovery or notification of a security breach. Subsequent to the legislation, a business may not charge a fee to the owner or licensee of the computerized data when it provides the necessary information needed for notification purposes. Additionally, the owner or licensee of the computerized data may not use information relative to the breach for purposes other than:

  • Providing notification of the breach;
  • Protecting or securing personal information; or
  • Providing notification to national information security organizations created for information-sharing and analysis of security threats, to alert and avert new or expanded breaches.

The law is effective October 1, 2019.

Read MD H.B. 1154