Maryland Employee Handbooks laws & HR compliance analysis

Maryland Employee Handbooks: What you need to know

Employee handbooks should be drafted according to the particular needs of each individual workplace and according to the requirements of state and federal law. Employers should try to develop policies and procedures that reflect the company's size, employee needs, and company philosophy. Employers should have an attorney familiar with state labor and employment laws review their handbooks for legal accuracy and timeliness. Outdated or erroneous policies can be just as dangerous as having no policies at all.
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Employers should exercise caution when developing handbooks and related policy statements. To avoid implied contract claims, employers should issue only general statements of policy in employee handbooks and should always include an explicit statement reserving the right to alter, amend, or change any handbook policy at any time and for any reason.
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)).
Many courts allow employers to escape ...

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Maryland Employee Handbooks Resources

Type Title
Checklists Employee Handbook Checklist
Policies Employment at Will—Handbook Receipt
See all Employee Handbooks Resources