A trio of new laws took effect on July 1 in the state of Tennessee of which employers in the Volunteer State need to be aware. The laws address race-based discrimination, Veteran’s Day and the physical or mental deficiencies of workers. First off, the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act prohibits Tennessee employers from adopting a policy that prohibits an employee from wearing hair in “braids, locks, twists, or another manner” that is part of the cultural identification of the employee’s ethnic group. The law exempts from its provisions those instances where such a hairstyle would prevent an employee from performing essential functions of the job or where an employer’s compliance with “common industry safety standards” relative to health or safety dictates otherwise. Tennessee is now one of 17 states to adopt the CROWN Act. A second law, the Tennessee Integrated and Meaningful Employment Act (TIME Act) requires that employers pay an employee, impaired by age, physical or mental deficiency, or injury, a wage not less than the federal minimum wage, essentially outlawing the subminimum wage that is authorized by federal laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act may otherwise be authorized by federal law. And finally, Tennessee employees who are veterans are now legally entitled to take Veteran’s Day (November 11) as an unpaid holiday, provided that the employee provides a one month written notice along with proof of veteran status and his/her absence doesn’t cause the employer significant economic or operational disruption.