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If you work for a company with more than 15 employees, this guide will help you understand and navigate the employment laws that may be applicable to your circumstances. For those of you working for smaller companies, you are not without recourse but the way you analyze your options will be different.

Most states apply the doctrine of “at will” employment which means that you can be fired for any reason or no reason as long as it is not a legally prohibited reason such as race, gender, age, disability, retaliation, wrongful termination, etc.

If you are looking at this guide, either you or someone you know is suffering from some form of negative treatment in the workplace. The negative treatment could be as a result of some discriminatory treatment, retaliation or simply because you have a personality conflict with your supervisor. The negative treatment could also be related to some perceived poor performance on your part.

As you go through this Guide, please bear in mind that not all negative treatment in the work place is actionable. The easiest way to explain this is that it isn’t against the law for your boss to be a jerk and sometimes, what you are experiencing might just be that, stemming from a severe personality conflict or a case of bad management, neither of which is against the law. As you work through the analysis in this Guide, keep that question in the back of your mind – am I being treated badly because my boss (or other person mistreating you) is a jerk and treats everyone badly, or is there something about me in particular that he is targeting?

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