The Tennessee Human Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate against applicants and employees 40 years of age or older based on age (TN Stat. Sec. 4-21-101). The Act covers public employers and private employers with eight or more employees.
Under the Act, it is unlawful for an employer to:
• Fail or refuse to hire, discharge, or otherwise discriminate against an individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of age, unless age is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) or the differentiation is based on reasonable factors other than age.
• Limit, segregate, or classify an employee or applicants for employment in any way that would deprive an individual of employment opportunities or adversely affect an employee because of age.
• Publish, print, or circulate any advertisement or notice for employment that expresses any preference, limitation, or specification as to age, unless age is a BFOQ.
It is unlawful for any person, including an employer of any size, to:
• Retaliate or discriminate in any manner against an individual for opposing a discriminatory practice, making a charge, filing a complaint, testifying, or assisting or participating in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing.
• Willfully interfere with the commission or obstruct or prevent a person from complying with the Act or a commission order.
• Violate the terms of a conciliation agreement made under the Act.
No individual liability.An individual employee or agent of an employer cannot be liable for any violation of the Act (TN Code Sec. 4-21-301(b) ).
Pretext for discrimination. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employer's selective enforcement of its ...