Montgomery County, Maryland Amends its Ban the Box Regulation

February 4, 2021 Accurate Background

Montgomery County, Maryland has amended their existing Ban the Box legislation to provide additional restrictions that will apply to all employers. 

The Basics

Location: Montgomery County, Maryland

Legislation:  Bill 35-20

Type: Ban the Box 

Effective: February 19, 2021 

Key Takeaways

  • Applies to employers, as defined below, with 1 or more persons employed in the county.
  • Prohibits employers from inquiring into an applicant’s criminal history, or conducting a criminal check, until after a conditional offer of employment has been extended. 
  • Prohibits employers from inquiring into, or considering, certain criminal records at any time as noted below.

 Who is impacted by this Ordinance?

This law applies to any person, individual, proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, corporation, limited liability company, trust, association, or other entity operating and doing business in the County that employs 1 or more persons in the County. This includes the County government, but does not include the United States, any State, or any other local government.

Can an employer inquire into, or consider, all criminal offenses?

No.  The Ordinance prohibits an employer from inquiring into, or considering as a basis for its hiring or promotion decision, whether:

  • the applicant has been arrested for, or has an arrest record for, a matter that did not result in a conviction; or
  • the applicant has an arrest record or a conviction record for, or otherwise has been accused of:
    • a first conviction of:
      • trespass
      • disturbance of the peace
      • assault in the second degree
    • a conviction of a misdemeanor if at least 3 years have passed since:
      • the date of the conviction; and
      • the date that any period of incarceration for the misdemeanor ended; or
    • a matter for which records:
      • are confidential under § 3-8A-27 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article of the Maryland Code;
      • have been expunged.

Are there any exceptions?

Yes.  The prohibitions and requirements of this Article do not apply:

  • if the inquiries prohibited by this Article are expressly authorized by an applicable federal, State, or County law or regulation;
  • to the County Police Department, the County Fire and Rescue Service, or the County Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation;
  • to an employer that provides programs, services, or direct care to minors or vulnerable adults; and
  • to an employer hiring for a position that requires a federal government security clearance.

Where can I find more information on this Ordinance?

In addition to reading the Bill, Montgomery County has resources, including FAQs and a list of what the Ban the Box Does and Does Not do on their website.

Recommendations

We recommend employers review and discuss with your legal counsel your organization’s policies and procedures to ensure continued compliance with the changing laws and regulations.

 

Please note:  The information provided above is strictly for educational purposes.  It is not intended to be legal advice, either expressed or implied.  Accurate Background recommends that you consult with your legal counsel regarding all employment regulations.

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