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Tennessee Employers Subject to New Obligations to Report Healthcare Practitioners' Confirmed Drug (but not Alcohol) Tests and Test Refusals

A new Tennessee law, effective July 1, 2017, imposes new reporting requirements on healthcare practitioner1 (HCP) employers. Under the new reporting law, in certain circumstances, HCP employers must "promptly" report to the state HCP employees with confirmed (positive) drug test results2 or those who refuse to submit to any work-related or directed drug test, including but not limited to pre-employment drug tests. The law does not apply to confirmed positive alcohol tests or refusals to submit to alcohol testing. The law does not contain an affirmative reporting obligation requiring reporting of information to other employers, although it does create a mechanism for certain employers to share information.

Employers Escape Private Claims under the Tennessee Tip Statute

Executive Summary: In Hardy v. Tournament Players Club Southwind, the Tennessee Supreme Court held that an employee cannot pursue a private right of action under the Tennessee Tip Statute, T.C.A. § 50-2-107. This statute sets forth an employer’s duty to pay service charges, tips, and gratuities to its tipped employees. This decision overrules the Tennessee Court of Appeal’s ruling in Owens v. University Club, which held that an employee may pursue a civil action against an employer under the statute.

Tennessee Court of Appeals Cleans Up Questions on Dog Groomers' Employment Status

Executive Summary: Individuals performing the main function of your business cannot be classified as independent contractors in Tennessee. At least, that’s what the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled recently when analyzing whether the Tennessee Department of Workforce Development properly held a pet groomer liable for unpaid unemployment taxes from 2006 through 2011.

Tennessee’s Gun-Free Workplaces Must Heed New Notice Requirements

Tennessee generally allows employers to prohibit employees and other individuals from possessing weapons on properties owned or operated by employers. The primary exception to this general rule concerns individuals with lawful handgun carry permits storing their weapons in their personal vehicles while parked on an employer’s property.

2016 Tennessee Legislative Update

In its latest session, the Tennessee Legislature passed four bills that affect Tennessee public and private employers’ workplace policies and procedures.

Tennessee Legislative Update

Executive Summary: Governor Haslam recently signed several bills into law that will impact Tennessee employees and employers in both the public and private sectors. Employers may wish to reassess certain policies and practices in light of these changes.

Tennessee Amends Data Breach Notification Statute to Cover Encrypted Data and Address Timing

An amendment to the Tennessee’s data breach notification statute has eliminated a provision requiring notice only in the event of a breach of unencrypted personal information. Accordingly, it appears that Tennessee is the first state in the country to require breach notification regardless of whether the affected information was encrypted. The amendment (S.B. 2005), signed by Governor Bill Haslam on March 24, 2016, will take effect on July 1, 2016.

Tennessee Amends Breach Notification Statute

On March 24, 2016, Tennessee’s breach notification statute was amended when Governor Bill Hallam signed into law S.B. 2005.

Tennessee in Last Stages of Approving Guns on Campus

The Tennessee Senate has approved passage of a bill that will permit public college and university employees and students holding handgun carry permits to transport or store a firearm or ammunition in their own vehicles on campus without facing any adverse or disciplinary action. The House has passed a nearly identical companion bill. If the Senate adopts the House version, the bill will go to Governor Bill Haslam, who likely will sign it into law.

Tennessee Supreme Court Throws Out Applicant's Workers' Compensation Retaliation Claim Against Prospective Employer

Executive Summary: On August 21, 2015, the Tennessee Supreme Court held that a job applicant does not have a cause of action under the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Act (TWCA) against a prospective employer for failure to hire based on the applicant's workers' compensation claim against a previous employer. Yardley v. Hospital Housekeeping Systems, LLC.