The “Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act of 2018" goes into effect on October 1, 2018.
The Act first concerns a provision in an employment contract, policy or agreement that waives any substantive or procedural right or remedy to a future claim of sexual harassment or retaliation for reporting or asserting a right or remedy based on sexual harassment.
The Act states that such a provision is null and void as being against the public policy of the State of Maryland.
Second, the Act prohibits an employer from taking an adverse action against an employee because the employee fails or refuses to enter into an agreement that contains such a waiver.
Third, an employer who enforces or attempts to enforce a provision that violates the Act will be liable for the employee’s reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.
Finally, on or before July 1, 2020, and on or before July 1, 2022, employers with 50 or more employees shall submit a short survey to the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights on: (i) the number of settlements made by or on behalf of the employer after an allegation of sexual harassment by an employee; (ii) the number of times the employer has paid a settlement to resolve a sexual harassment allegation against the same employee over the past 10 years of employment; and (iii) the number of settlements made after an allegation of sexual harassment that included a provision requiring both parties to keep the terms of the settlement confidential.