Fighting the Labor Shortage

With many small businesses continuing to struggle to get the workers it needs to get their business – and state economies – back on track, some states are trying to recreate a work-favorable environment again. Montana governor Greg Gianforte is leading the way with a most creative approach to addressing the current labor shortage in…

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COVID-19 Lawsuits on the Rise: 5 Steps To Minimize the Risks

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought small business numerous challenges. We can now add another to the list: Employees filing increasing numbers of COVID-19 related lawsuits. In fact, according to the Fisher Phillips Employment Litigation Tracker, as of November 1, COVID-19 related lawsuits have been filed against 950 employers. The highest number of lawsuits were filed…

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Pregnancy Accommodation Mandates

The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation a few weeks ago that mandates businesses provide further accommodations for the convenience of pregnant employees. Although the Pregnancy Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 2694) has yet to pass the Senate and may never, in fact become law, it was passed by the House with overwhelming bipartisan support in…

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Tennessee Codifies Liability Shield

The Volunteer State followed the lead of its neighboring Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas this week when Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed the COVID-19 Recovery Act into law. The new law, which became effective with the Governor’s signature on August 17, provides that businesses, healthcare providers, schools, non-profits and other entities and individuals will not be…

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Tennessee Gives Employers Safe Harbor

The state of Tennessee has expanded its Healthy Workplace Act to allow private employers to shield themselves allegations of workplace bullying. Public employers have enjoyed immunity since 2014, but now with the Governor signing the expansion April 23 to be effective immediately, private employers can receive legal immunity as well. All the employer needs to…

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Tennessee Requires Electronic Wage Reports

Earlier this year, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development adopted regulations requiring employers to report wage and premium reports electronically. The electronic filing requirement becomes effective on January 1, 2019 for all employers. The regulation also provides for an exemption for those employers for whom the requirement creates a hardship. In those instances,…

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Tennessee Dumps Income Tax

It may be a few more years before it comes to fruition, but the Volunteer State finalized plans to eliminate its state income tax when Governor Bill Haslam signed the bill into law earlier this week.  The legislation (SB 0047), passed in the waning days of its 2016 session, provides that the income tax rate…

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States Look to Restrict Joint-Employer

One approach to clarifying the issue and clearing up any confusion it may have caused is legislation at the individual state level that unmistakably defines who is and is not a joint employer.  As we’ve advised in past issues, 3 states (Tennessee, Louisiana & Texas) had passed into law clarifying legislation that effectively exempts franchising…

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Tennessee Law Blocks “Joint-Employer”

Fortunately, a number of states are not letting the out-of-control NLRB get too far out of line within their state borders.  Two weeks ago today, Tennessee took the lead when Governor Bill Haslam signed into law legislation (SB 0475 and HB 0757) clarifying that employees of franchisees cannot be considered employees of the franchisor for…

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Targeting NLRB

In more news that will likely be welcomed by small businesses across the country, Senate Republicans also have an eye on the many radical changes being advocated by the National Labor Relations Board.  Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander has filed a bill that seeks to ensure balance in the rulings of the NLRB by increasing the…

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