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Maryland State Employment Laws

The state of Maryland has restrictions on what can be reported in a background screening report beyond what the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) dictates.

Key Municipal Employment Restriction on Private EmployersEmployers in Montgomery County that have 15 or more full-time employees may not search for applicant’s conviction history until after the conclusion of the first interview. If the employer intends to rescind a conditional offer, the employer must then provide the applicant with a copy of the background check and specify the disqualifying information and give the applicant seven days to review the information.
Must Provide NoticeIf a consumer requests a file disclosure, CRA must provide an additional notice of state rights which includes the name, address and telephone number of the Commissioner of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
Ban the Box: State Public EmployeesState public employers may not inquire into the criminal history of an applicant for employment until the applicant has been interviewed, or provided an opportunity for an interview.
Use of Credit ReportAs of October 2011, an employer may not use a credit report to deny employment, discharge an employee, or use of compensation determination. However, per the statute, an employer may request the credit report on an applicant after an offer for employment has been made. The Bill specifically authorizes other types of consumer reports for background screening permitted under the FCRA. ALSO - A credit report may be used for "Bona Fide Purposes" that are substantially job-related and if the obtaining of a credit report is disclosed to the applicant or employee in writing.

Specific employer exemptions: 1) if required by federal or state law; 2) if employer is insured financial institution, including affiliate or subsidiary; 3) Credit Union Shared Guaranty Corporation approved by the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation;4) An entity registered as an investment advisor by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Use of Social Media Password InformationEmployers may not request employee or applicant to disclose his/her user name, password or other means of accessing the personal accounts, social media, etc.

Notable Exceptions: The Act does not prohibit the employer from viewing such sites, just that they cannot get behind the privacy settings. In other words, employers can see and consider publically available information on the Internet regarding an applicant or employee.
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