Employee Discipline: Tennessee
Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.
Author: James L. Holt, Jr., Jackson, Shields, Yeiser & Holt
- Tennessee law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees in regard to discipline on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability or in retaliation for making a claim of unlawful discrimination. See Discrimination Prohibited.
- Tennessee law contains whisteblowing and retaliation protections. See Whistleblowing and Anti-Retaliation Provisions.
- The Supreme Court of Tennessee has recognized a civil claim if an employee is discharged in contravention of a well defined and established public policy. See Retaliatory Discharge.
- Tennessee has enacted significant employment litigation reform legislation. See Employment Litigation Reform.
- Tennessee law restricts employers from disciplining an employee or requiring them to provide proof of vaccination if the person objects to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine for any reason. See COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates.
- Tennessee law protects certain off duty employee activities, such as smoking and voting. See Off Duty Activities.
- Tennessee employers should exercise caution when disciplining employees for attendance issues related to protected leaves. See Attendance.
- Tennessee is a one party consent state. See Recording Meetings.
- Disciplinary policies in handbooks may result in an implied employment contract. See Employee Handbooks.
- Tennessee employers may not discipline an employee based solely on a polygraph or lie detector test. See Polygraph Testing.
- Tennessee has enacted a Drug-Free Workplace Act. However, employers should use caution when disciplining employees with drug and alcohol dependencies. See Drug and Alcohol Testing and Discipline.
- Tennessee employers may prohibit employees and other persons in the workplace form possessing weapons on employer property. However, employers are not required to do so under Tennessee law. See Firearms.