The Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 added gender identity to the list of protected classes against which employment discrimination is prohibited. Currently, under Maryland law, the complete list of protected classes include: race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, and disability.
Under The Fairness for All Marylanders Act, “gender identity” is defined as:
“The gender-related identity, appearance, expression, or behavior of a person, regardless of the person’s assigned sex at birth, which may be demonstrated by:
(1) consistent and uniform assertion of a person’s gender identity; or
(2) any other evidence that the gender identity is sincerely held as a part of the person’s core identity.”
Notably, Maryland employers are not prohibited from establishing and requiring an employee to adhere to reasonable workplace appearance, grooming, and dress standards that are directly related to the nature of the employment of the employee and that are not precluded by any provision of state or federal law, as long as the employer allows the employee to appear, groom, and dress consistent with the employee’s gender identity.
The Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR) serves as the enforcement agency for these laws.