Maryland’s New Law Protecting Gender Identity

Maryland’s New Law Protecting Gender Identity

What is the Fairness for All Marylanders Act (FAMA)?

The Fairness For All Marylanders Act Of 2014 (FAMA) prohibits discrimination against transgender Marylanders in the areas of employment, housing, credit and public accommodations by adding “gender identity” to existing anti-discrimination laws based on race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and other characteristics.

Who Does FAMA Protect?

The law is designed to protect any person who has, or is perceived to have, a gender identity or expression that may be considered different or inconsistent with his assigned sex at birth, regardless of whether the person self-identifies as transgender. (HRHero.com)

When Does FAMA Go Into Effect?

FAMA was passed by the Maryland legislature (SB 212/HB 1265) on March 27 and signed into law on May 15, 2014.

To What Does FAMA Apply?

This legislation would prohibit discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, credit, and public accommodations.

To What Does FAMA Not Apply?

  • Employers with fewer than 15 employees
  • Employers that are religious institutions
  • Schools, and associations
  • The Boy and Girl Scouts
  • Rooms in an owner-occupied dwelling, or
  • An apartment dwelling with fewer than 5 units

All points listed above are exempt from the coverage of this legislation.  Covered employers that violate the statute will be subject to the penalties included in Section 20 of the State Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland. (Equalitymaryland.org and HRHero.com)

Employer Dress Code Enforcement

FAMA does not prohibit an employer from establishing, and requiring an employee to adhere to, reasonable workplace appearance, grooming, and dress standards that are directly related to the nature of employment, as long as the employer allows any employee to appear, groom, and dress in a manner consistent with the employee’s gender identity.

Portions of this blog post were taken from HRHero.com, BLR.com and Equalitymaryland.org on the same subject.

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