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Under the Radar?

You may be big enough to have to play by some rules, but too small for others. How do you know just what's applicable?

This story appears in the November 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

As any business owner with employees knows, there's a welter of state and federal laws providing employees with certain rights and protecting them from various forms of discrimination. But not every law in your jurisdiction applies to every employer. Many laws explicitly state that they only apply to businesses that have a certain number of employees or more.

Consider a recent case. Design Group One, a tiny architectural firm in Chester, Connecticut, fired a pregnant woman. The employer said the reason was poor performance, but the former employee claimed it was because of all her doctor appointments. She sued under the state's Fair Employment Practices Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including pregnancy.

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