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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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In the state of Maryland does an employer at an animal welfare

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In the state of Maryland does an employer at an animal welfare organization (privately owned and not government) have the right to demand an inspection of an employees home to check on employees pets? If the employee refuses inspection do they have the right to threaten termination? If the employee agrees under duress can the employer threaten the employee with corrective action up to and including termination if they employer does not think the home is suitable? The representatives from the organization sent to inspect the home conditions are not animal control officers and do not perform home evaluations as part of their jobs at the animal welfare organization.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

I'm sorry to say that the answer is yes. Maryland is an "at-will" state. The employment at-will doctrine states that either the employer or the employee may end the employment relationship at any time and for any reason. Over the years, courts and legislatures have carved out narrow exceptions to the employment at-will doctrine for illegal discrimination and retaliation, but they are exactly that -- Exceptions. If the exceptions don't apply, then the courts will simply view the termination as a lawful business decision, and therefore, such a decision will not be overturned even if it was unfair or can be proven to have been poorly made. It sounds harsh, but it's that same principle that allows the employee to immediately quit that job if he were to find something better. In other words, the employer is not shackled to the employment relationship any more than the employee is shackled to it.

Because of that, I'm afraid that the answer to your question is yes, the employer can terminate you for refusing to allow it to inspect how you care for your pets, and/or it can terminate you if it doesn't agree with how you care for your pets or if it thinks that your house is not suitable.

I am truly sorry to give you this bad news, but please understand that it would be unfair to you (and unprofessional of me) to provide you with anything less than an honest response. However, if your concerns were not satisfactorily addressed, then please let me know, and I will be happy to clarify my answer. I do ask that you rate me based upon whether I answered your question, and not based upon whether the answer was good news or bad news. Your positive feedback is greatly appreciated.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. I appreciate your honest answer.

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