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Maryland Requires Reasonable Accommodations for Applicants With Disabilities

Under the state’s existing anti-discrimination law, employers were required to reasonably accommodate an employee’s disability, and this bill expands that obligation to applicants. Effective October 1, 2022, Maryland law prohibits an employer from failing or refusing to make a certain accommodation for the known disability of an applicant for employment unless doing so would cause undue hardship on the employer’s business.

Next Steps for Employers

Employers with 15 or more employees have had an obligation to provide reasonable accommodations to applicants under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, but Maryland employers not previously subject to these requirements under federal law must now ensure that they have established procedures in their recruitment process that allow applicants with disabilities to request an accommodation and participate in the hiring process. Further, recruiters and hiring managers should be trained on reasonable accommodation under federal and state law to reduce claims of discrimination in employment.

Employers are also encouraged to consult with legal counsel for situations where they believe that an accommodation may pose an undue hardship.

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.