Tennessee Employment Law Update – May 2018

Tennessee

Employer Non-Disclosure Clauses

On May 15, 2018, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed legislation (H.B. 2613) prohibiting private and public employers from requiring an employee or applicant to execute or renew a nondisclosure agreement with respect to sexual harassment in the workplace as a condition of employment. Any employee injured as a result of a violation of this prohibition has the same rights and remedies available to employees under Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-1-304 (retaliatory discharge).

The law became effective May 15, 2018.

Read TN H.B. 2613

State Employee Leave

On May 3, 2018, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed legislation (H.B. 2590) amending state employees’ use of leave for maternity or paternity leave and adoption leave as follows:

  • State employees are authorized to use sick leave and annual leave for maternity or paternity leave for up to his or her accumulated sick leave and annual leave balance, or twelve weeks, whichever is less. The law also redefines state employee.
  • Special leave for adoptive parents was amended by requiring that it be granted for twelve weeks to adoptive parents, authorizes state employees to use sick leave and annual leave for all or a portion of that twelve weeks, not to exceed the employee’s leave balance if the child is one year old or less. If both parents are state employees, the aggregate of sick leave used for adoption is limited to twelve weeks. To be eligible for adoptive leave, the employee must submit to the appointing authority a statement from a state-licensed child-placing agency verifying the adoption.

The law is effective July 1, 2018.

Read TN H.B. 2590

Independent Contractors and Marketplace Contractors

On April 9, 2018, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed legislation (S.B. 1967) specifying that a marketplace contractor is an independent contractor and not an employee of a marketplace platform if all of the following conditions are met:

  • The marketplace platform and marketplace contractor agree in writing that the contractor is an independent contractor with respect to the marketplace platform.
  • The marketplace platform does not unilaterally prescribe specific hours during which the marketplace contractor must be available to accept service requests from third-party individuals or entities. If a marketplace contractor posts the contractor’s voluntary availability to provide services, the posting does not constitute a prescription of hours.
  • The marketplace platform does not prohibit the marketplace contractor from using any online-enabled application, software, website, or system offered by other marketplace platforms.
  • The marketplace platform does not restrict the marketplace contractor from engaging in any other occupation or business.
  • The marketplace platform does not require marketplace contractors to use specific supplies or equipment.
  • The marketplace platform does not provide on-site supervision during the performance of services by a marketplace contractor.

A marketplace contractor is any individual, corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or other business entity that both:

  • Enters into an agreement with a marketplace platform to use the platform’s online-enabled application, software, website, or system to be given an assignment, or otherwise receive connections, to third-party individuals or entities seeking its services in Tennessee.
  • In return for compensation from the third-party or marketplace platform, offers or provides services to third-party individuals or entities upon being given an assignment or connection through the marketplace platform’s online-enabled application, software, website, or system.

A marketplace platform is a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or other business entity operating in Tennessee that:

  • Offers an online-enabled application, software, website, or system that enables the provision of services by marketplace contractors to third-party individuals or entities seeking services.
  • Neither directly nor through any related party derives any benefit from work performed by marketplace contractors other than a subscription or use fee for placing marketplace contractors in assignments or otherwise providing connections.

The law is effective July 1, 2018.

Read TN S.B. 1967