Bass Berry & Sims Labor Talk

Category Archives: Doing Business in Tennessee

Subscribe to Doing Business in Tennessee RSS Feed

Arming for the Workplace Cultural Dynamics

Posted in Doing Business in Tennessee, Employee Handbooks and Policies

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Tim Garrett authored an article for Workforce magazine outlining how the workplace can be considered the unintended battleground for cultural wars. In the article, Tim identifies the causes of this reality and the tension it creates; highlights certain “false” solutions; and provides a more effective, practical solution for working toward… Continue Reading

Bill Ozier Authors Article on New Protected Status for Employees with Valid Handgun Permits

Posted in Doing Business in Tennessee

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Bill Ozier authored an article for the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry outlining the details of a new bill passed by the Tennessee Legislature in 2015 that creates a new protected status for employees that have a valid handgun carry permit. As explained in the article, “[t]he statute prohibits… Continue Reading

Tennessee Legislature Makes Significant Changes in State Employment Laws

Posted in Discrimination and Harassment Law and Practice, Doing Business in Tennessee, Retaliation/Whistleblower

Effective July 1, 2014, the following changes in Tennessee employment laws will take effect: No individual liability of supervisors or managers in discrimination claims; only the “employer” can be sued for discrimination; Caps on non-monetary damages (pain, suffering, humiliation, embarrassment) in discrimination claims; caps do not limit back-pay or front-pay; Preemption of common law “whistleblower”… Continue Reading

Attorney General Says “Guns in Trunks” Legislation Does Not Alter “At-Will” Status of Employees

Posted in Doing Business in Tennessee

Tennessee employers, according to the Tennessee Attorney General, can still terminate employees for violating a “no weapons” policy, despite the new “guns in trunks” legislation due to take effect July 1, 2013. In his opinion letter, Attorney General Robert Cooper answers “yes” to a hot topic of conversation among employers – and their attorneys –… Continue Reading

Tennessee’s New “Guns in Trunks” Law

Posted in Doing Business in Tennessee

A new Tennessee law, effective July 1, 2013, allows Tennessee employees who hold valid permits to carry concealed weapons, to bring their weapons onto their employer’s parking lot, under certain conditions.  In light of this new law, Tennessee employers who wish to limit handguns and other weapons on their premises may do the following: Continue… Continue Reading

Texas Court Rules Against EEOC – “Lactation Discrimination” Is Not Unlawful Sex Discrimination But …

Posted in Discrimination and Harassment Law and Practice, Doing Business in Tennessee, Leaves of Absence/FMLA Law and Practice

A Cautionary Reminder for Employers A Texas Federal Court recently ruled that terminating an employee because she wanted to pump breast milk at work is not sex discrimination.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued on behalf of an individual employee who had mentioned her need to pump breast milk at work and soon thereafter was… Continue Reading

“Jury Duty” Includes Commuting Time to Court

Posted in Doing Business in Tennessee, Wage and Hour Law and Practice

Most Tennessee employers are required to pay employees their “usual compensation” for jury duty.  But, what time is included in the phrase “jury duty” for the purpose of paying employees who serve? That question was the subject of a recent Tennessee Attorney General opinion.  The Attorney General clarified that, under Tennessee law, jury duty includes… Continue Reading

Surviving the Workday: Healthcare and Late-Night Retail Establishments Identified as “High Risk” Industries for Workplace Violence

Posted in Doing Business in Tennessee

Given recent news involving brutal acts of violence in the workplace, employers may wonder what they need to do to protect their own employees.  Workplace violence can strike anywhere, and no workplace is immune.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a directive which identified healthcare, social service settings and late-night retail establishments… Continue Reading

What Do Tennessee’s Family And/Or Medical Leave Laws Require?

Posted in Doing Business in Tennessee, Leaves of Absence/FMLA Law and Practice

Tennessee has a maternity/paternity leave law which permits both male and female full-time employees with 12 consecutive months of service to have four months of unpaid leave for adoption, pregnancy, childbirth and nursing a new infant.  In order for an employee to be covered, the employer must have 100 or more employees on the job… Continue Reading

Can I Enforce a Non-Compete Agreement Or Other Type Of Restrictive Covenant in Tennessee?

Posted in Doing Business in Tennessee, Employment Agreements/Non-Compete Policies and Practice

It depends.  In Tennessee, restrictive covenants are generally disfavored as a “restraint of trade,” so an employer should not assume that a contract limiting an employee’s competitive conduct after termination will be enforced by a court.  In order to enforce a restrictive covenant agreement, the employer must prove that it has a legally recognized “protectable… Continue Reading

What are the Protected EEO/Non-Discrimination Categories in Tennessee?

Posted in Discrimination and Harassment Law and Practice, Doing Business in Tennessee

The Tennessee Human Rights Act (THRA) applies to employers with eight or more employees within the state and prohibits discrimination based on race, creed, color, religion, sex, age or national origin.  The interpretation and enforcement of the THRA follows closely that of Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The Tennessee Human… Continue Reading

“Guns at Work” – New Tennessee Law Allows Employees to Carry Guns at Work Without Creating an OSHA Hazard

Posted in Doing Business in Tennessee

On March 31, 2011, Governor Haslam signed Senate Bill 519 into law.  The law recognizes that any employer permitting a person to legally carry a firearm on the employer’s property does not constitute an “occupational safety and health hazard” to employees.  In Tennessee, it is legal for permitted gun owners to carry their firearms on… Continue Reading