New Tennessee law ‘bans the box’ for state government jobs

April 18, 2016 0 COMMENTS

Tennessee has joined the list of states passing some form of “ban the box” legislation with the passage of Senate Bill 2440. Governor Bill Haslam signed the measure on April 14.

Many states, counties, and cities across the country have joined the ban-the-box movement by prohibiting job applications that require applicants to check a box indicating whether they have a criminal record.

Tennessee’s law doesn’t affect private-sector employers. Instead, it prohibits state employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history on the initial application. The law has an exception for (1) positions that require a criminal background check under federal law and (2) positions for which the commission of an offense is a disqualifying event for employment under federal or state law.

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Tennessee’s “guns in trunks” law takes effect July 1

June 27, 2013 0 COMMENTS

by Kara E. Shea

The Tennessee law giving handgun carry permit holders the right to transport and store firearms and/or ammunition in their vehicles parked in an employer’s parking lot goes into effect July 1. With the enforcement deadline at hand, employers understandably want to know whether they need to alter current “no weapons” policies that ban weapons on all parts of their property, including parking lots. Unfortunately, the answer remains uncertain, although a recent opinion from the state attorney general seems to indicate that you still may be able to enforce such policies.

To recap, the popularly dubbed “guns in trunks” bill was signed into law by Governor Bill Haslam on March 14 after it passed by a wide margin in both the Tennessee Senate and House of Representatives. Previous versions of the law faced resistance from the Tennessee business community last year, but it passed easily this year, helped along by provisions of the new bill stating that businesses won’t be liable for damages or injuries caused by firearms stored by employees on their premises in accordance with the new law.

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TN Governor Signs Bill on State and Local Antidiscrimination Standards

May 24, 2011 0 COMMENTS

Late Monday, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed into law House Bill (HB) 600, which prohibits Tennessee’s local governments from imposing on employers any antidiscrimination practices or standards that vary from those in state law.

Named the Equal Access to Interstate Commerce Act, the new law makes null and void any “practice, standard, definition, or provision” previously established by local ordinance or resolution. The practical effect is the nullification of a Nashville ordinance enacted in April that requires the city’s contractors and vendors to submit affidavits affirming that they don’t discriminate based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

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Nashville Council Passes Antidiscrimination Ordinance

April 06, 2011 0 COMMENTS

Nashville has joined more than 100 other localities across the nation that prohibit firms and contractors conducting business with the city from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Similar protections were granted to city employees in 2009, and Metro Council members voted 21-15 on Tuesday night to extend the ordinance to cover contractors, which now will be required to sign affidavits of compliance with the new rule.

Mayor Karl Dean has said that he will sign the bill; however, opposition to the new measure could still arise at the state level, as a bill prohibiting such local antidiscrimination measures is currently under debate in state legislative committees.

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Tennessee: Delegation More Employer-Friendly

November 04, 2010 0 COMMENTS

by John B. Phillips, Jr.

Tuesday’s election continues Tennessee’s move toward a solid-red Republican state:

  • In the governor’s race, Republican Bill Haslam won with an overwhelming majority, replacing two-term Democrat Phil Bredesen, who was prohibited from running for a third term.
  • It also appears that Tennessee Republicans will make gains in both houses of the Tennessee General Assembly, extending and increasing the Republican control of both state houses.
  • Tennessee’s congressional delegation will be made up of seven Republicans and two Democrats, a net gain of two seats for the GOP. (Both U.S. senators are Republicans, though neither was up for election this year.)

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ICE to Inspect 180 Employers in South

March 03, 2010 0 COMMENTS

By Hector Chichoni

On Tuesday, March 2, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it had sent 180 notices of inspections (NOIs) to employers in Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

At least 30 NOIs have been sent to employers in Tennessee and another 30 or so to employers located in southern and central Alabama. ICE has not yet disclosed the targeted employers’ names.

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