Maryland Slated to Strengthen Pay Transparency Law

Author: Emily Scace, XpertHR Senior Legal Editor 

April 1, 2024 

Update: H.B. 649 was signed into law on April 25, 2024.

A Maryland bill that would require employers to include pay information in job postings has passed the state legislature and awaits signature by Gov. Wes Moore. 

If H.B. 649 is enacted, Maryland will become the seventh state - joining California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New York and Washington - to mandate pay information in job postings as a transparency measure aimed at reducing pay inequity. 

Maryland already requires a weaker form of pay transparency. Since 2020, employers in the state have been required to provide the pay range for a role upon an applicant's request, but that information was not required to appear in job postings. Connecticut, Nevada and Rhode Island have similar laws. 

Under H.B. 649, which would take effect October 1, 2024, employers would be required to include a wage range and a general description of the benefits and other compensation offered for a position in any public or internal job posting. If a job posting was not made available to an applicant, an employer would be required to share the pay and benefits information before discussing compensation with the applicant, and at any other time upon the applicant's request. 

The law would apply to any position that will be physically performed at least partly in Maryland. 

A disclosed wage range must be set in good faith by reference to: 

  • Any applicable pay scale; 
  • Any previously determined pay range for the position; 
  • The pay range of an individual holding a comparable position at the time of the posting; or 
  • The budgeted amount for the position. 

Unlike other states that have adopted pay transparency measures, H.B. 649 directs the Maryland Division of Labor and Industry to develop a form that employers could use to communicate the required pay and benefits information. An employer would be able to comply with the law by including the completed form in each public or internal job posting and otherwise making it available to applicants as required. 

The bill also contains recordkeeping requirements and anti-retaliation protections.