Tennessee Privacy laws & HR compliance analysis

Tennessee Privacy: What you need to know

Tennessee courts have recognized the common-law tort of invasion of privacy (Roberts v. Essex Microtel Assocs., 46 S.W.3d 205 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2000)). This common-law tort includes four different types of privacy claims:
• Intrusion upon solitude or seclusion;
• Public disclosure of private facts (e.g., unreasonable publicity given to one's private life);
• False light privacy (e.g., publicity that normally places the other in a false light before the public); and
• Appropriation of one’s name or likeness.
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Surveillance. It is unlawful for a person to spy on, observe, or otherwise view an individual without prior consent when the individual is in a place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, if the viewing:
• Would offend or embarrass an ordinary person if the person knew he or she was being viewed; and
• Was for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of the viewer (TN Code. Sec. 39-13-607).
Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring. Placing an electronic tracking device on a vehicle to monitor the occupants’ movements is illegal without the vehicle owner’s consent (TN Code Sec. 39-13-606).
With certain exceptions, state law prohibits intentionally intercepting or procuring any wire, oral, or electronic communication individually or through another person. The law further prohibits disclosing or using the communication that was obtained illegally.
Exceptions. Although there are several exceptions to this law, the exceptions most relevant to employers are the consent exception and the “ordinary course of business” exception. Under the consent exception, it is lawful to intercept a communication when the person is a party to the communication or one of ...

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