Maryland Bans Workplace Transgender Bias

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May 19 — Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) signed into law May 15 a measure ( H.B. 1265 ) that prohibits workplace discrimination based on gender identity.

The law, which in addition to employment also applies in public accommodations, housing and credit, makes Maryland the 18th state plus the District of Columbia to extend discrimination protection to transgender individuals.

The governor's signature, which was expected, followed the legislation's final approval March 27 by the Maryland General Assembly.

By signing the measure, known as the Fairness for All Marylanders Act, “we're taking a critical step forward in protecting all Marylanders from discrimination,” Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) said in a May 15 statement. “This is important legislation at a time when more than half of transgender residents in our state have reported harassment in their community.”

Once the legislation takes effect Oct. 1, employers will be prohibited from firing, refusing to hire or otherwise discriminating against a worker on the basis of the individual's gender identity.