The United States and several state governments have made it a priority to end sexual harassment in the workplaces under their jurisdiction. Although much progress has been made in the last few decades, a recent worldwide reckoning on gender discrimination has sped the course of these shifts.
Maryland’s governor recently signed a law called the Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act of 2018. When it takes effect in October, it will fight sexual harassment by holding employers in the Old Line State to two new standards.
Under the law, all employers in Maryland may no longer include any waiver of rights to report or claim damages for sexual harassment in an employment contract or application. As a result, retaliation against a person who refuses to sign such a waiver or otherwise enter into a similar agreement will also be illegal in Maryland law.
Large companies employing 50 or more people must also share information twice a year with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR). This information includes the number of settlements made with employees and former employees connected to allegations of sexual harassment, as well as any settlements made with a confidentiality clause.
The MCCR will use this information to make a public directory of companies’ experience with these settlements. The objective of this law is to allow employees and managers alike to choose the best employers with more of the facts at their disposal.
Victims of sexual harassment in the workplace always have the right to sue in civil court. An attorney can help move a case to settlement or a jury verdict in court.
Source: Mondaq, “New Maryland Law Requires Disclosure Of Sexual Harassment In The Workplace,” Patricia J. Hill, May 30, 2018