Tennessee Maternity and Pregnancy laws & HR compliance analysis

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. 4-21-401 et seq.).
This law was intended, and has been so interpreted, to correspond 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.
The state law applies to private employers of eight or more persons and all state employers.
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On June 22, 2020, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed Senate Bill 2520 into law. Known as the Tennessee Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, the law requires every employer with at least 15 employees to make a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s or a prospective employee’s medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless such accommodation would impose an undue hardship on business operations. The law goes into effect on October 1, 2020, and will be enforced by the Tennessee Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development.
Reasonable accommodations under the law include:
• Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible and usable;
• Providing more frequent, longer, or flexible breaks;
• Providing a private place, other than a bathroom stall, for the purpose of expressing milk;
• Modifying food or drink policy;
• Providing modified seating or allowing the employee to sit more frequently if the job requires standing;
• Providing assistance with manual labor and limits on lifting;
• Authorizing a temporary transfer to a vacant position;
• Providing job restructuring or light ...

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