Maryland's Workplace Fraud Act has been amended. On May 2, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley signed House Bill 1364 and Senate Bill 272 into law. The identical bills had previously passed the House and Senate unanimously. According to the Maryland/Northern Virginia Floor Covering Association (MDNVAFCA), the bills were the product of nearly two months' worth of deliberation and cooperation among members of both Houses of the legislature, representatives of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR), and the MDNVAFCA as well as other groups representing the interests of business and labor.
 
The amendments to the Workplace Fraud Act take effect on July 1. Under the new amendments, the burden of proof to show that a worker is an employee now falls on the State if certain requirements are met. Previously, nearly all subcontractors in the flooring industry were presumed to be employees unless the business could prove otherwise.

In addition, the amended act gives businesses more time to comply with auditors' requests for documents and gives businesses the option of providing auditors with copies of documents rather than having auditors occupy their place of business for the duration of the audit. The amendments also require DLLR to issue citations, hold hearings and close audits within reasonable periods of time. In the case of businesses engaged in work on a public contract, the public body is only notified of a citation if the business commits a knowing violation.
For detailed information regarding the amendments, contact the Maryland/Northern Virginia Floor Covering Association at mdnvafa@msn.com or (877) 896-3605.