On January 15, 2021, employers in Montgomery County, Maryland will be subject to a new workplace discrimination law passed by the Montgomery County Council. This law represents a significant departure from traditional employment law that will make it easier for plaintiffs to win cases before administrative agencies and in court. Montgomery County employers are encouraged to update their discrimination and, especially, their harassment and sexual harassment policies and update their training modules to include these new standards.
Montgomery County Bill No. 14-20 prohibits employers from subjecting an individual to harassment, including sexual harassment, based upon the person’s protected class (race, color, creed, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, etc.). The bill defines harassment to include verbal, written, or physical conduct, whether or not the conduct would be considered sufficiently severe or pervasive under precedent applied to harassment claims, under the following circumstances:
The Bill further defines sexual harassment to include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, written, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, whether or not the conduct would be considered sufficiently severe or pervasive under precedent applied to harassment claims, under the following circumstances:
Importantly, this new law alters the traditional “severe and pervasive” standard for harassment in traditional harassment and sexual harassment claim analysis.
For more information on how this new law affects your workplace, contact your Employment Law attorneys at Shulman Rogers.
The contents of this Alert are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact the Shulman Rogers attorney with whom you regularly work or a member of the Shulman Rogers Employment and Labor Law Group.
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