Tennessee AIDS and Disease laws & HR compliance analysis

Tennessee AIDS and Disease: What you need to know

The Tennessee Disability Act prohibits any public employer or a private employer with eight or more employees from discriminating against any applicant or employee on the basis of any physical, mental, or visual disability, unless the disability to some degree prevents the applicant from performing the duties required by the job in question or impairs the performance of the work involved (TN Stat. Sec. 8-50-103). The Act also prohibits discrimination against any blind person who uses a guide dog. "Disability" is not defined in this Act but is defined in the Tennessee Human Rights Act as any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of a person's major life activities, a record of having such an impairment, or being regarded by others as having such an impairment (TN Stat. Sec. 4-21-101et seq.). The disability discrimination statute incorporates the remedies provided by the Tennessee Human Rights Act (TN Code Sec. 4-21-202 to Sec. 4-21-311, TN Code Sec. 8-50-103(c)(2); Forbes v. Wilson County Emergency Dist. 911 Bd., 966 S.W. 2d 417 (Tenn. 1998)).
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The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits an employer from discriminating against a qualified individual with a disability, who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question (42 USC 12111). In contrast, Tennessee law authorizes the employer to discriminate against an applicant or employee with a disability whose ability to perform is impaired to some degree.
Amendments to the ADA that became effective January 1, 2009, broadened the definition of disability and changed the definition of a "regarded as" disability. Under the ADA, an ...

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