The Maryland House of Delegates on March 9 passed the Equal Pay for Equal Work bill that contains protections based on gender identity by a 133-33 vote margin. The measure, in which the House concurred with Senate amendments, is now headed to Gov. Larry Hogan who can either sign it, veto it or allow it to go into law without his signature.
House Bill 1003, whose lead sponsor is state Del. Kriselda Valderrama (D-Prince George’s County), prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity; prohibits an employer from discriminating between employees in any occupation by providing less favorable employment opportunities based on sex or gender identity and provides that specified provisions of the Act do not preclude an employee from demonstrating that an employer’s reliance on a specified exception is a pretext for specified discrimination.
Its passage has been applauded by transgender equality advocates.
“Yet again, the Maryland General Assembly affirms what the overwhelming majority of Marylanders believe, that it is common sense to provide Equal Pay for Equal Work, regardless of a worker’s sex or gender identity,” Jen Fischetti, founding steering committee member of the Maryland Coalition for Trans Equality, told the Washington Blade. “This is changing Maryland for the better and we invite Governor Larry Hogan to sign this bill into law.”