20-HB1947/SB2909 – Daniel/Bailey

Bill Description

Present law prohibits an employer from discharging or terminating an employee solely for refusing to participate in, or for refusing to remain silent about, illegal activities. Under present law, an employee terminated in violation of this prohibition has a cause of action against the employer for retaliatory discharge and any other damages to which the employee may be entitled.

Present law defines "illegal activities" as activities that are in violation of the criminal or civil code of this state or the United States or any regulation intended to protect the public health, safety, or welfare. This bill specifies that "illegal activities" do not include activities prohibited under state human rights laws related to employment-related discrimination, the Tennessee Disability Act, or federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment.

TLRC Position

We approve this bill. Exposure of wrongdoing should always be encouraged, not punished.

TLRC Observed Process

Rec. for pass by s/c ref. to Consumer and Human Resources Committee 3/10/2020
Voice Vote – Ayes Prevail Rep(s). Freeman, Love requested to be recorded as voting No
Rec. for pass; ref to Calendar & Rules Committee 6/4/2020
Voice Vote – Ayes Prevail

Action deferred in Senate Commerce and Labor Committee

Vote Result: Committee Only

Score: +5