It has been a relatively quiet year for employment legislation at the federal level, but Maryland has enacted some labor law changes that will impact business owners and managers in the state.  


Federal Employment Law Update


We still wait for news about the salary threshold for exemption status under the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The salary threshold that has been on hold since 2016 is likely to be updated in 2018.  Expect a new salary threshold under the FLSA for exempt employees to finally be revised somewhere between the threshold proposed under the Obama administration of $47,476 and the actual current FLSA threshold of $23,660.  


In 2018, more Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids are expected by four or five times.  ICE Director Thomas Homan has instructed Homeland Security Investigations (ICE’s investigative arm) to increase its time spent on worksite enforcement by “four or five times” next year. Prepare now by conducting an i-9 audit at your location.  Don’t forget to use the updated form I-9 for newly hired employees and review the updated i-9 handbook for employers.


Maryland-Specific Employment Law Updates


At the state level, this year Maryland has passed several notable employment laws.  Many take effect January 1, 2018, with the exception of the minimum wage increase.  


The Security Breach Notification expands the definition of protected personal information and adds notice duties, including where email access is disclosed.  Make sure you’re adequately protecting your employees’ personally identifiable information.


Maryland also has passed further equal pay protections.  Employers are prohibited from paying a lower rate than employees of a different gender for comparable work.  


Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers must be provided with a reasonable accommodation to express breast milk.  


The minimum wage will increase to $10.10, effective July 1, 2018.  


Next Steps


Review your workplace practices to ensure compliance with current and future employment legislation.  Seek legal counsel on this and all employment law issues.