An unintended workplace health threat resulting from the fight against COVID-19 could be lurking in an employer’s water system—Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease. As state and local governments begin lifting safe-at-home orders, employers and building owners will be restarting operations and reopening buildings (or parts of buildings) that may have been unoccupied for weeks. Many such operations include water supply systems that have also been shut down during the business closings. These dormant water systems and devices can lead to an increased exposure to Legionella for several reasons, including a lack of water circulation and a temporary cessation of water treatment and water quality monitoring programs. In anticipation of the large number of workplaces and other buildings that will be reopening in the near future, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its guidance for reducing Legionella risks in building water systems.
On April 23, 2019, Governor Bill Lee signed a bill that extends protection from some legal claims associated with workplace bullying to all Tennessee employers. Employers that adopt an anti-bullying policy that conforms to the law will be immune from lawsuits alleging intentional or negligent infliction of mental anguish due to the abusive conduct of employees.
Twenty years ago, the Tennessee Department of Labor (TNDOL) adopted regulations implementing the Tennessee Drug-Free Workplace Act and establishing the Tennessee Drug-Free Workplace Program. This year, the TNDOL substantially revised these regulations.
Tennessee property owners, including employers, are generally authorized to prohibit the possession of weapons by any person at meetings conducted by an employer or on property owned, operated, managed, or under the control of an employer. Tennessee has adopted very specific requirements for how employers and other property owners must notify employees and visitors when they seek to prohibit firearms on their properties.
Earlier this year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) signaled an intention to take employers to task for maintaining policies that required employees to immediately report workplace injuries and accidents or face discipline. OSHA considers such policies to be retaliatory and a violation of section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act.
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.
Two weeks ago, we reported that the Tennessee General Assembly had voted in favor of adding a provision to Tennessee’s “Guns in Trunks” law. On April 6, 2015, Governor Haslam signed the bill into law.
On March 23, 2015, the Tennessee General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to end confusion surrounding Tennessee’s “Guns in Trunks” law. Tennessee has historically allowed property owners to prohibit firearms anywhere on their property—making it a crime for even a person with a valid handgun carry permit to carry a firearm on property the owner has posted as prohibiting firearms.
In a recent blog post, John Martin, a shareholder in Washington, D.C. and a member of the firm’s Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group, discussed the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) announcement of a new rule that significantly changes an employer’s duties to report workplace injuries to OSHA. The…..
On August 19, 2014, the Tennessee Court of Appeals became the first Tennessee appellate court to address the scope to which Tennessee’s Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA) preempts common law claims related to unfair competition and misuse of confidential information. In Ram Tool & Supply Co., Inc. v. HD Supply…..
Tennessee requires employers to comply with several requirements when it comes to paying employees their wages. Most of these requirements are set out in the Tennessee wage payment statute. Employers are required to maintain regular paydays and notify employees of when these paydays are with written notices posted in at…..
On May 28, 2013, the Tennessee Attorney General issued an opinion that determined that Tennessee’s new “guns in trunks” law did not prohibit an employer from discharging an employee for having a weapon in his or her vehicle while parked on the employer’s property. On January 13, 2014, the Office…..
A dilemma employers often face when key employees leave and join a competitor is how to stop the employee from taking and misusing the employer’s confidential business information. In Tennessee, such questions are answered, primarily, by the Tennessee Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUTSA), T.C.A. § 47-25-1701, et seq.. Currently, 47…..
On July 1, 2013, a new law, 2013 Tenn. Pub. Act, ch 16, goes into effect in Tennessee allowing individuals with handgun carry permits to carry firearms and ammunition in their personal vehicles. This “guns in trunks” law has caused employers a great deal of concern that they would no longer be able to…..