New Maryland Law Strengthens Protections for Construction Workers
Maryland's Senate Bill 300 strengthens labor protections for construction workers on public projects.
On March 28, 2019, the Maryland General Assembly passed Senate Bill 300, authorizing employees to sue their employers for prevailing wage law violations without first filing a complaint with the Maryland Department of Labor (“MDOL”). Before Senate Bill 300, the only legal remedy available to workers whose rights had been violated under the state’s prevailing wage law was to file an administrative complaint with MDOL. Unfortunately, the broad scope of the agency’s jurisdiction and its limited resources, made it difficult for the agency to enforce this law alone.
Thanks to Senate Bill 300, construction workers on state prevailing wage projects now have the option of taking their wage complaints straight to court. The bill also establishes that general contractors may be held liable for the violations of their subcontractors, and provides for double or treble damages and reasonable counsel fees. Senate Bill 300 will go a long way towards discouraging unscrupulous contractors from cheating workers out of their hard-earned wages.
Senate Bill 300 will go into effect October 1, 2019. The bill’s passage was the result of the collective efforts of the affiliates of the Baltimore DC Building Trades, FFC-MAR, and various community groups, including the Public Justice Center and Casa de Maryland. For more information on Maryland’s Prevailing Wage Law, visit our Frequently Asked Questions.