Like most other states, Maryland has strict laws that hold employers liable for harassment that occurs in the workplace. As an employer, you should have policies that protect your interests and your employees’ safety.
Here’s what you should know about workplace harassment regulations and compliance before you consult our employment harassment attorney in Maryland.
Comply With Amendments to State Legislation
Before you can improve your policies, you have to make sure you know what the Maryland legislation says. The last significant change to Maryland’s workplace harassment laws was implemented on October 1st, 2019. These amendments make employers more liable, which is why you should be more careful about how you deal with harassment in your company.
Harassment claims can now be filed by employees and third-party contractors you work with. Also, an employer is now defined as someone with one or more employees, which means that even the smallest businesses or employers that hire people for personal services are liable.
The legislation also defines harassment as based on certain identifying factors of the employee such as race, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc. Employers are liable for their employees’ supervisors’ actions and if negligence on their part led to the harassment. Finally, the new changes extend the statute of limitations for criminal cases to 2 years and civil ones to three years.
Set Up an Efficient Reporting and Inquiry System
Now that you know how liable you are in Maryland, you need to ensure that your procedures for addressing harassment complaints illustrate that you’ve done everything you can. While sexual harassment training and compliance with details of state law are essential — one of the most significant changes to make is to set up a complaint and inquiry system.
Your sexual harassment policy should state how complaints are reported, how complainants are protected from retaliation by the accused, how an inquiry is conducted, the consequences, and how the investigation is kept impartial. Since your negligence can make you accountable, you need to be sure that you aren’t negligent.
Consult With an Employment Attorney
Keeping up with amendments or knowing exactly what qualifies you as a negligent employee is hard for a business owner to judge. On the other hand, an employment law attorney in Maryland has much more knowledge on what the laws say and how you can protect yourself against employee claims.
Make sure to consult with our workplace harassment lawyer in Maryland for assistance in creating policies and mechanisms to protect your employees and legal interests. At Luchansky Law, we dedicate ourselves as Maryland employment lawyers for employers’ benefits.