Tennessee Pre-Employment Inquiries (Interviewing) laws & HR compliance analysis

Tennessee Pre-Employment Inquiries (Interviewing): What you need to know

Protected classes. The Tennessee Human Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate based on race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, or national origin (Tenn. Code § 4-21-101 et seq.).
The Tennessee Disability Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate based on disability (Tenn. Code § 8-50-103). Both laws apply to all public employers and to private employers with eight or more employees. While neither law specifically addresses the issue of preemployment inquiries, employers that ask applicants about any of these characteristics are likely to violate these provisions unless the characteristic is job-related.
The Tennessee CROWN Act: Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair prohibits all public and private employers from adopting a policy that prohibits an employee from wearing a hairstyle in braids, locs, twists, or another manner that is part of the cultural identification of the employee's ethnic group or that is a physical characteristic of the employee's ethnic group (Tenn. Stat. § 50-1-313).
More information is available at the Tennessee Discriminationsection.
For a Limited Time receive a FREE HR Report on the "Critical HR Recordkeeping”.  This exclusive special report covers hiring records, employment relationships, termination records, litigation issues, electronic information issues, tips for better recordkeeping, and a list of legal requirements.  Download Now
Bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception. The Act permits an employer to make an employment inquiry about an applicant’s religion, sex, or age only if it is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the employer’s business (Tenn. Code §§ 4-21-406(a), 4-21-407). According to the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, a BFOQ exception is not warranted when based on:
• Assumptions of the comparative general employment characteristics of persons of a particular group, such as their turnover rate;
• Stereotypical characteristics, such as mechanical ability or aggressiveness;
• Customer, client, ...

Read more about Pre-Employment Inquiries (Interviewing)