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Press Releases - County Council

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 19, 2024

From the Office of Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz and Dawn Luedtke

ROCKVILLE, Md., March 19, 2024Today the Montgomery County Council enacted Bill 44-23 to protect the healthcare information of job applicants from unwarranted, intrusive questions by employers. Introduced by Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz and Dawn Luedtke, the bill will prohibit an employer from requesting an applicant’s sexual and reproductive health information. Further, an employer will be limited in requesting or considering an applicant’s health information unless the information is necessary to evaluate an applicant’s ability to meet published job qualifications.

This bill will provide greater protections to employees than currently provided under Maryland state law. It ensures that employers do not ask about individuals’ reproductive or sexual health – an issue that has taken on new importance in light of the recent Supreme Court decision restricting health care rights, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2002). The Office of Human Rights and the Commission on Human Rights will enforce the law and assess civil penalties as appropriate.

“As we look to the national landscape and the continuing threats to women’s reproductive rights as well as to sexual health privacy, I am proud that we are doing the right thing here in Montgomery County,” said Councilmember Albornoz, who chairs the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee. ”This bill will codify a policy that many of our county employers have already embraced; however, it's needed to ensure our long-established businesses will update any antiquated job applications so that they are not infringing on an applicant’s right to health privacy,”

“People should not feel forced to divulge private health information that has no impact on whether they can perform the duties of a job,” said Councilmember Luedtke. “This privacy is paramount as we seek to increase access to preventative health care services, protect against threats to reproductive health, and remove barriers to women entering the workforce. Thank you Councilmember Albornoz and the Council for strongly supporting this expansion of health care privacy to all prospective employees in Montgomery County.”

For more information, the Council staff report can be viewed here.

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Release ID: 24-108
Media Contact: Kristin Trible 240-777-7801, Aaron Kraut 240-777-7859
Categories: Dawn Luedtke, Gabe Albornoz