The Tennessee Human Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, or national origin (TN Code Sec. 4-21-101 et seq.). The Act covers all public employers and private employers with eight or more employees, including employment agencies and labor unions.
Under the Act, it is unlawful for a covered employer to:
• Fail or refuse to hire, discharge, or otherwise discriminate against an individual based on a protected characteristic.
• Limit, segregate, or classify an individual for employment in any way that deprives or tends to deprive the individual of employment opportunities or adversely affects employment status.
It is unlawful for any person, including an employer of any size, to:
• Retaliate or discriminate in any manner against an individual because he or she has opposed an unlawful discriminatory practice; made a charge; filed a complaint; or testified, assisted, or participated in any investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the Act.
• Intentionally interfere with the state human rights commission in the performance of its duties or exercise of its power.
• Intentionally obstruct or prevent an individual 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) ).
Volunteer rescue workers. Employers are prohibited from terminating an employee who is a volunteer rescue squad worker because the employee is late or absent to work in order to respond to an emergency (TN Code Sec. 4-21-101 ). Employers may require a written statement from the employee’s ...