The Tennessee Human Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate against applicants and employees 40 years of age or older on the basis of 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. Effective July 1, 2014, 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 ...