New Tennessee wrongful discharge law favorable to employers

by David Johnson

A new Tennessee law going into effect on July 1 puts a cap on damages employees can collect in wrongful termination claims.

Public Chapter 995 affects the Tennessee Human Rights Act (THRA), the Tennessee Public Protection Act (TPPA), and the Tennessee Disability Act (TDA). The new law imposes a cap on compensatory damages aggrieved employees can recover under all three statutes for future monetary losses, emotional pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other nonmonetary losses.

The caps depend on the number of employees an employer has. The caps range from $25,000 for employers with eight to 15 employees to $300,000 for employers with more than 500 employees. The caps don’t apply to back pay, interest on back pay, front pay, or equitable relief.

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U.S. Supreme Court expands SOX whistleblower protection

March 05, 2014 - by: Holly Jones 1 COMMENTS

In the early 2000s, corporate and accounting scandals involving Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, and other publicly traded companies cost investors billions of dollars and prompted federal legislation to reform corporate financial practices. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) covers everything from mandatory financial disclosures to enhanced penalties for white-collar crime to requiring a company’s CEO to sign corporate tax returns. The law also includes penalties for retaliating against whistleblowers who provide information or assist in federal investigations.

Generally, SOX applies only to publicly traded companies. However, in a surprisingly entertaining opinion (at least when corporate governance and ethics are concerned), the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the law’s antiretaliation provisions to some private employers—specifically, to contractors and subcontractors performing work for publicly traded companies.

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