Maryland Religious Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

Maryland Religious Discrimination: What you need to know

The Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits discrimination in employment because of religion (MD State Govt. Code Sec. 20-601 et seq.). As defined in the Act, religion includes all aspects of religious observances, practice, and belief. The Act applies to all employers of 15 or more persons. Under the Act, it is unlawful for employers to:
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• Refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or discriminate against any individual with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.
• Limit, segregate, or classify employees or applicants in a way that deprives them of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affects employee status.
• Limit admission or employment in an apprenticeship or other training or retraining, including on-the-job training programs.
• Print or publish any advertisement for employment indicating any preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination as to religion, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).
• Discriminate or retaliate against an individual who has opposed an unlawful employment practice, filed a charge, testified, assisted or participated in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the Act.
• Aid, abet, compel, or coerce any person to commit a discriminatory act, or to prevent any person from complying with any order issued by the Maryland Commission on Human Relations.
Interns. Effective October 1, 2015, employers may not discriminate against unpaid interns on the basis of any characteristic protected under the Act, including religion (MD State Govt. Code Sec. 20-610).
BFOQ. It is not unlawful for an employer to hire and employ an individual on the basis of religion, if religion is a ...

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