With the Maryland Legislature’s passage of the Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act of 2018, SB1010, Maryland employers will face new restrictions in drafting, renewing, or extending employment agreements. Effective October 1, 2018:
Any provision in an employment agreement which waives any procedural or substantive right to a claim for a future instance of sexual harassment or retaliation related to reporting an instance of sexual harassment is void.
Employers are broadly precluded from taking any adverse action against an employee for refusing to enter into an agreement containing an impermissible waiver provision. Employers who attempt to enforce any such impermissible waver provisions shall be liable for the employee’s attorney’s fees.
Employers with over fifty employees shall be required to complete and submit a survey to the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights listing (1) the number settlements an employer has made for sexual harassment, (2) the number times the employer has entered into a settlement in the past ten years involving an allegation against the same employee, and (3) the number of settlements that included a confidentiality provision. Each employer’s survey response shall be publically available via a request under the Maryland Public Information Act.