Tag Archives: Governor Haslam

Tennessee Eliminates Private Suits For State Wage-Hour Law Violations

On April 23, 2013 Governor Haslam signed an amendment to Tennessee’s Wage Regulations Act  (Act) which eliminates private suits for state wage and hour law violations.  The amendment gives the Tennessee Department of Labor the exclusive power to enforce state wage and hour law.  The amendment also provides for an award of reasonable expenses, including attorneys’ fees and disbursements for claims brought under the Act.

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Tennessee Tells Local Governments to Stay Out of The Wage and Benefit Arena

On April 11, Governor  Haslam signed into law a  bill prohibiting local governments from mandating health insurance benefits, leave policies, hourly wage standards, or prevailing wage standards that deviate from existing requirements of state and federal law as a condition of doing business with or within the jurisdiction of the local government.

The new law means that cities and towns in Tennessee may not establish prevailing wages higher than the federal minimum wage and/or state or federal prevailing wages. Any such local laws already on the books  are no longer enforceable.

The new law also  includes a prohibition against local governments enacting so-called wage theft laws, stating that enforcement of existing wage statutes  is the right of the state and federal governments.

This is definitely a win for employers.

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Hold your fire! What does Guns in Cars Mean for Employers in Tennessee?

Assuming Governor Haslam signs the “Guns in Cars” Bill passed by the Tennessee General Assembly (which is a virtual certainty) the Bill will become law on July 1, 2013.  What does this mean for employers?

The bill makes it legal for handgun carry permit holders to store firearms and ammunition in their vehicle while it is in a parking lot if the weapon is (1) kept out of sight and (2) locked in the car while the permit holder is not in the vehicle. The bill makes it clear that it will be legal for handgun carry permit holders to have properly secured firearms in their cars at work.

So if the employee has a valid Tennessee handgun carry permit and keeps the weapon and ammo out of sight in a  locked car the employee would be in compliance with the law.  Glove box, trunk and under the seat are clearly out of sight.  Covered up by a blanket or other cover  on a seat may be.

Employers should review their weapons at work policies in light of this anticipated new law to make sure they will be in compliance on July 1.

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