Maryland is an “employment-at-will” state. Therefore, an employer may generally terminate an employment relationship at any time and for any reason unless a collective bargaining agreement, employment contract, existing law, or recognized public policy provides otherwise.
However, the Maryland courts have held that under certain circumstances, clear and specific statements contained in an employee handbook or policy manual may create an employment contract. For example, the state Court of Special Appeals has indicated that an implied contract of employment may be found based on an employer's policy statement that outlines specific steps that must be taken prior to terminating an employee (Staggs v. Blue Cross of Maryland Inc., 486 A.2d 798 (MD Ct. Spec. App. 1985)).