Tennessee National Origin Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

Tennessee National Origin Discrimination: What you need to know

The Tennessee Human Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of national origin, including the national origin of an individual's ancestors (TN Stat. Sec. 4-21-101 et seq.). The Act covers public employers and private employers with eight or more employees. Under the Act, it is unlawful to:
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• Fail or refuse to hire, discharge, or otherwise discriminate against an individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of national origin.
• 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 national origin.
• Publish, print, or circulate any advertisement or notice for employment that expresses any preference, limitation, or specification as to national origin, unless national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).
• 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 state Human Rights 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) ).
Harassment. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employee can proceed to trial with a charge of hostile work environment by providing sufficient evidence of derogatory slurs about ...

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