A new Montgomery County bill would prohibit employers from inquiring about or considering a job applicant’s sexual, reproductive and other health information.

On March 19, 2024, the County Council unanimously passed Bill No. 44-23, which would prohibit employees from requesting or considering an applicant’s sexual or reproductive health information.  The bill would also prohibit employers from requesting, seeking or considering a job applicant’s health care information – thereby extending protections akin to those provided by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to employees who work for employers with 15 or more employees to all employees in the County.

The bill is currently awaiting review and signature by County Executive Marc Elrich. Should Elrich sign the bill, which he is expected to do, it will go into effect 120 days after his signature.

The law does provide certain exceptions and specifically the law states that it does not prohibit the following:

“(1) an employer from requesting or seeking business-related health care information;

(2) an employer from considering business-related health care information solely to determine whether an applicant meets a minimum qualification;

(3) an applicant from voluntarily submitting, or an employer from processing, a request for a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act related to the job application process; or

(4) if the applicant is already employed by the employer, an applicant from disclosing, or the employer from requesting, health care information necessary for:

(A) enrolling in or processing employee benefits; (B) making or processing workers’ compensation claims; (C) making or processing leave requests; or (D) complying with applicable state or federal law.”

The subject of this bill reinforces for Montgomery County employers the importance of making sure that everyone involved in the interview and hiring process is well versed in what areas they are prohibited from inquiring into and considering, including those areas protected by the bill should it go into effect.

For more information, contact Jessie Summers at 301-657-3442 or [email protected].