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VOLUME 28 | February 2020


Maryland Passes Statewide “Ban the Box” Legislation

By: David Burkhouse, Esq.

On January 30, 2020, Maryland joined the ranks of the growing number of states with “ban the box” laws restricting pre-employment inquiries into an applicant’s criminal record. Although the governor vetoed the bill on May 24, 2019, the General Assembly voted to override the veto on January 30, 2020. As such, Maryland’s ban the box law (SB 839) will take effect on February 29, 2020.
           The law:
  • Applies to employers with 15 or more full time employees and applies to applicants seeking employment in any position for pay as well as applicants seeking positions in vocational and educational programs with or without pay and specifically covers applicants for contractual, temporary, seasonal, and contingent positions as well as applicants seeking work through a temporary or employment agency.
  • Prohibits employers from requiring the disclosure of an applicant’s criminal record information prior to the applicant’s first in-person interview.
  • Does not prohibit an employer from requiring the disclosure of an applicant’s criminal record at the first in-person interview.
  • Does not apply if another federal or state law either authorizes or dictates a pre-interview inquiry into an applicant’s criminal record or if the employer is engaged in providing programs, services, or direct care to either minors or vulnerable adults.
  • Allows for fines of up to $300 per applicant.


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Mr. Burkhouse is a Member with PK Law and is part of the firm’s Education, Labor and Employment Group. As part of Mr. Burkhouse’s employment law practice he counsels and represents employers regarding employment discrimination claims arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. Mr. Burkhouse also advises employers with regard to non-compete agreements, restrictive covenants, arbitration agreements, trade secrets, confidentiality agreements, and employee hiring and termination procedures.  Mr. Burkhouse can be reached at (410) 740-3150 or