Commercial Non Discrimination
What is the policy?
The commercial nondiscrimination policy is a State policy which mandates that the State shall not to enter into a contract with any business entity that has discriminated in the solicitation, selection, hiring, or commercial treatment of vendors, suppliers, subcontractors, or commercial customers on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry or national origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or on the basis of disability or any otherwise unlawful use of characteristics regarding the vendor’s, supplier’s, or commercial customer’s employees or owners.
What is a business entity?
A business entity includes any person, defined in §1-101(D) of the State Finance and Procurement Article as an individual, receiver, trustee, guardian, personal representative, fiduciary, or representative of any kind and any partnership, firm, association, corporation, or other entity, or any firm, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or other business entity or a combination of any of these entities, including any financial institution, developer, consultant, prime contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or vendor, that has submitted a bid or proposal for, has been selected to engage in, or is engaged in providing goods or services to the State.
What is Prohibited?
Discrimination Prohibited. It is unlawful for a business entity that has entered into a contract with the State to discriminate in the solicitation, selection, hiring, or commercial treatment of vendors, suppliers, subcontractors, or commercial customers. Retaliation Prohibited. It is unlawful for a business entity that has entered into a contract with the State to take any action that has a material negative effect against any person, business or other entity for reporting any incident of discrimination; testifying as a witness at a hearing; or providing requested assistance to Commission staff in any investigation of an incident of discrimination under this policy.
A complaint may be filed by any business entity who claims to have been aggrieved by an act or acts of unlawful commercial discrimination or retaliation prohibited by the policy.
After a Complaint is Filed?
Once a complaint is received, it will be reviewed to determine whether any matters exist that may preclude an investigation of the claim. Such matters include, but are not limited to, whether the claim falls within the jurisdiction of the commercial nondiscrimination policy, proper standing of the parties, and the timeliness of the filing. If the complaint is found to be acceptable, an investigation of the complaint will be authorized and the complaint will be assigned to a MCCR staff member for processing. If the complaint is rejected, Commission staff will inform the complainant of the rejection and the reasons therefore.