Maryland Department of Labor Leads Successful Efforts to Provide a Safety Net for Victims of Domestic Violence and Address Critical Foreclosure Issues


Secretary Sanchez applauds Governor O’Malley’s leadership during 2012 Legislative Session

BALTIMORE, MD (April 12, 2012) – The Maryland General Assembly passed important measures during the 2012 Legislative Session, strengthening the State’s ability to protect consumers, provide a safety net for Marylanders who must leave their jobs to escape domestic violence, and combat ongoing foreclosure issues. The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) also worked closely with a bipartisan coalition of legislators and stakeholders to provide a more predictable and streamlined path to compliance with the Workplace Fraud Act while maintaining the law’s ability to protect workers and insure a level playing field for business owners.

“I thank Governor O’Malley and the Maryland General Assembly for a productive and collaborative session. Instead of allowing partisan politics to delay progress and using political divisions to weaken consumer protections and safety nets for working families, Maryland’s elected leaders showed leadership and stood up for our families,” Labor Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez said. “I am proud of the DLLR legislative team for building on the success of past years and continuing our Department’s commitment to serving the people of Maryland.”

The Department’s legislative successes include:

  • Unemployment Insurance Coverage for Victims of Domestic Violence (SB 291): This legislation allows an individual to receive unemployment insurance benefits if it is determined that he or she was forced to abandon employment as a result of domestic violence.
  • Foreclosed Property Registry (HB 1373): This legislation creates an online registry to provide state and local governments with timely contact information in order to reach owners of foreclosed properties after a property auction and, under some circumstances, to abate nuisances on foreclosed properties.
  • Foreclosures and Mediation (HB 1374): This legislation creates an optional pre-foreclosure mediation program in order to reach homeowners earlier in the process, when loss mitigation efforts may be more likely to be successful. It also provides for an expedited foreclosure process for vacant properties that serve as a blight on communities and exert negative pressure on area home values.
  • Mortgage Lenders Licensing Exemption (SB 302): This legislation allows the Commissioner of Financial Regulation to license and oversee subsidiaries and affiliates of national banks, eliminating federal preemption of state authority, consistent with federal law and changes made in the Dodd-Frank Act.

DLLR oversees the O’Malley-Brown administration’s efforts to prevent foreclosure and protect homeowners from fraud; develop and train a dynamic and skilled workforce to compete in the new economy; enforce wage and safety laws that protect workers in the workplace; provide occupational and professional licensing to protect consumers against incompetent and unscrupulous practitioners; and provide a safety net for unemployed Marylanders while they find new work in a recovering economy.

The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation protects and empowers Marylanders by safeguarding workers, protecting consumers, providing a safety net and cultivating a thriving workforce that can meet the demands of Maryland’s dynamic economy. Follow DLLR on Twitter (@MD_DLLR) and Facebook.