Many states allow for at-will employment, meaning employees may be terminated, and job applicants may be denied employment, for nearly any reason at all, or for no reason whatsoever.  However, federal law, state law, and often company policies prohibit adverse employment decisions (such as termination or job denial) based on certain protected characteristics, including sex, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age (40 years or older), and use of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.