Counties Opposed to Potential Prohibitions Limiting Ability to Set Qualification Standards in Hiring

On January 27, 2022, Associate Director Brianna January submitted written testimony to the Senate Finance Committee in opposition of SB 66 Labor and Employment – Hiring – Education Requirements (Give Me A Chance – Job Opportunities Act of 2022). This bill would prohibit counties, as employers, from using level of educational achievement, such as high school or college degree, as a qualifying factor for employment or internal advancement. While the bill does offer some language exempting positions that require professional licensing, the language is too vague to be enforceable, and counties remain concerned by the implications of the bill.

From the MACo testimony

Counties screen job applicants prior to interviews, considering if the position requires an advanced degree or training, and ask for that information prior to moving forward in the hiring process. In other positions, job descriptions list a degree or equivalent years of experience, which again is part of the screening process prior to the interview. This legislation would prohibit employers from discussing college or a higher education degree until an “initial offer of employment” has been made, potentially wasting time and resources of both the employer and candidate at that late stage of the process.

Many county employment positions appropriately require licensure and advanced education to ensure the safety of the public in the carrying out of that position’s responsibilities – for example, county engineers and environmental health officers. The vague language of SB 66 does not make it clear whether or not counties could require education and licensure as a requirement of filling these critical roles.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2022 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.Learn more about MACo’s 2022 Legislative Initiatives.Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog.

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