Beth Deragon Authors NH Section of ‘Employment at Will’

McLane Middleton attorney Beth A. Deragon authored the New Hampshire section of “Employment at Will: A State-by-State Survey.”

The treatise, now in its second edition, provides a comprehensive analysis of the employment at will doctrine, as well as the many exceptions recognized by the courts. The doctrine serves as the foundation for legal analysis of the employment relationship in the U.S., and nearly all states recognize it in some form—and then apply their own set of unique exceptions to it. This treatise uses the same set of topics for each state to provide a comparative view across states, as well as to allow for research on an individual state. This format is extremely helpful for lawyers who practice in multiple jurisdictions, as well as for lawyers who practice primarily in a single jurisdiction, particularly when they wish to argue by analogy or example from the laws of another state.

Each state chapter provides analysis of the following topics:

  • The creation of enforceable employment agreements through (i) employee handbooks or other written personnel policies and (ii) oral assurances
  • Common law claims for wrongful discharge
  • The covenant of good faith and fair dealing in express and implied employment contracts
  • The public policy exception to the doctrine of employment at will
  • The burden of proof necessary to sustain a claim of wrongful discharge
  • What constitutes “just cause” for purposes of termination
  • The effect of disclaimers on the employment at will relationship
  • Potential damages in a wrongful discharge claim
  • Related tort claims arising out of the employment relationship
  • State statues that prohibit termination based on certain protected classifications 


Beth’s practice is focused on advising employers, including independent schools, on all aspects of the employment relationship and on defending employers in discrimination and other claims pending before state and federal agencies.  She has over 10 years’ experience assisting employers with employment issues including: hiring, corrective/disciplinary action and termination; background checks; drug and alcohol testing; training supervisors and employees in harassment prevention & managing within the law; handbooks and policies; wage and hour compliance and audits; independent contractor status; leaves of absence and requests for reasonable accommodations; non-competition, non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreements; classification of employees as exempt/non-exempt; safety and workplace violence; unemployment compensation claims; reductions in force/lay-offs; and separation/severance agreements.

Beth can be reached in the firm’s Manchester office at (603) 628-1490 or

To purchase a copy of the treatise, click here.