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Tennessee Maternity and Pregnancy: What you need to know

The Tennessee Fair Employment Practices Law prohibits discrimination in employment because of sex (TN Code Sec. 4-21-401et seq.). The Law applies to private employers of eight or more persons and all state employers. The Law was intended, and has been interpreted, to be co-extensive with its federal counterpart, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Title VII requires employers to treat employees who are affected by pregnancy the same as employees with a temporary disability for all leave, insurance, employee benefit, and disability purposes. Employers with 15 or more employees have obligations under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).
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Tennessee's Maternity Leave Law provides that employers with 100 or more full-time employees at one job-site must allow up to four months' maternity leave for pregnancy, childbirth, adoptions, and nursing. With regard to adoption, the 4-month period begins at the time an employee receives custody of the child. The law applies to both male and female employees.
To qualify, an employee must have been employed for at least 12 consecutive months as a full-time employee. Maternity leave may be with or without pay, at the discretion of the employer. An employee who gives at least 3 months' advance notice of his or her leave and an intention to return to full-time employment after maternity leave must be restored to his or her previous or a similar position. Employees who are unable to give three months' notice because of a medical emergency or because notice of an adoption was less than 3 months in advance do not lose their right to reinstatement. Leave will not affect the employee's rights to seniority, promotion, vacation time, sick leave, or other ...

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