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Maryland State Background Check Laws

In May 2013, the Maryland governor signed SB 4 into law, banning the box on state government job applications, and delaying a background check until the job applicant has been interviewed.

Exceptions to the law include positions in the state’s Department of Corrections, Sheriff Offices in all Maryland counties, and any position where a background check is mandated by law. This law went into effect on October 1, 2013.

A consumer reporting agency may not disclose 1) bankruptcy that antedates the report by more than 10 years and 2) Suits and judgments, paid tax liens, accounts placed for collection, records of arrest, indictment, or conviction of a crime, and any other adverse item of information that antedate the report by more than 7 years.

The Job Applicant Fairness Act generally prohibits employers in Maryland from using a job applicant or employee’s credit report to make employment decisions. Statute Link. There are exceptions such as: if required by law, financial institutions and investment advisors.

Baltimore, MD

In December 2007, the Board of Estimates for the City of Baltimore unanimously approved the banning of the box on City job applications. A policy was also developed to identify Positions of Trust that would require a background check.

Positions not so identified do not require the disclosure of any past criminal history. If a background check is required, it will be requested and reviewed at the end of the hiring process, after a conditional offer of employment.

In April 2014, the Baltimore City Council approved the updating of their existing Fair-Chance Ordinance to prohibit public and private employers with ten or more employees from conducting a background check until after a conditional offer of employment has been issued. The ordinance also provides for the judicial review of any violations and the imposition of misdemeanor criminal charges and fines for employers who violate the law.

Montgomery Country, MD

In November 2015 the Montgomery County, MD County Executive signed legislation extending fair-chance hiring laws to private and county employers with 15 or more employees, prohibiting a background check until after the first interview has been completed. If an employer later rescinds a conditional offer of employment based on information in the background check report, the employer is required to provide the job applicant with a copy of their report that highlights the disqualifying information. The applicant then has seven days to review the information and file a complaint.

Prince George’s County, MD

In November 2014, the Prince George’s County, MD County Council unanimously passed legislation setting fair standards for the screening and consideration of criminal records during the hiring process. The legislation applies to both private and county employers.

Background checks are not permitted until after the first job interview. The EEOC criteria are used to individually assess background check reports. In evaluating an applicant’s criminal record, potential employers are only allowed to consider offenses that specifically relate to the duties of the position and demonstrate the person’s unfitness for the position.

If an employer decides to rescind a job offer based on a criminal record, they must notify the applicant of that decision, highlight the disqualifying information, and provide a copy of the background check to the applicant, advising them of the complaint process

Cities Include: Baltimore, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Bowie, Hagerstown, Annapolis, Salisbury, College Park and more.

Note: This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult with your own legal counsel for advice related to your state/locality.