Running a business in Tennessee can be a satisfying endeavor, but sometimes issues come up between employers and employees that cause friction, especially if the issue claims one party violated the other party's legal rights. Employers can face serious financial consequences if they are held liable for violating an employee's rights, and employees can face emotional trauma and financial damages if their rights are violated in the workplace. It's a situation no one wants to find themselves in.
Many women these days in Tennessee are waiting longer to have children so they can concentrate on their careers. However, whether a pregnancy comes when a person is a new employee or after they have become established in the workforce, most women who find themselves pregnant are overjoyed. But, while they may be eagerly awaiting their new arrival, their employer may be concerned on how the pregnancy will affect the woman's ability to work and the company's bottom line. Such situations can sometimes result in workplace discrimination.
Most people do not go to work in the morning thinking, "Today is the day I'm going to be fired." Of course, sometimes employees make mistakes or break workplace policies, leading to a discharge, but other times a person's discharge can come as a complete surprise. Tennessee residents who find themselves in such predicaments may wonder what their legal rights are.
Many strides have been made over the years to prevent discrimination in the workplace. Unfortunately, sometimes workplace discrimination still occurs, leading to a hostile work environment. For example, a black man in Tennessee is suing his employer, the Springfield Water and Wastewater Department, for $500,000 plus punitive damages, alleging that he was the victim of racial discrimination and that his employer permitted a hostile work environment to exist. In the lawsuit, the man alleges that his co-workers placed a rope around his neck and called him a monkey, among other incidents. For example, per court documents, one city worker referred to the man as a "black bastard" in a text message sent to other city workers.
It may seem as though the gay rights movement has gained steam nationwide, protecting those of all sexual orientations. However, it is an unfortunate fact that workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation still occurs in professions across the nation, including law enforcement. The issue of sexual orientation discrimination in law enforcement departments is becoming so problematic that some officers are suing their employers for alleged discrimination and harassment. Some officers are forced to endure taunting, hostile work environments and limited chances for promotion or protection, simply due to their sexual orientation.
A person's religious beliefs can be a part of their identity. For some in Tennessee, their religious practices are of paramount importance. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects people working in the private sector from discrimination in the workplace based on religion. The courts have determined that there are numerous types of discrimination that are illegal. Specifically, these include fostering a hostile work environment, disparate impact discrimination and disparate treatment discrimination.
If a Tennessee employee is not a party to a work contract, they are an "at-will" employee. This means that their employer has the legal right to fire the employee for any reason or for no reason at all. Conversely, the employee has the legal right to quit for any reason or for no reason at all.
No one in Tennessee anticipates being struck with a serious illness or having a loved one experience one. When this happens, a worker may need to take an extended leave from work. If they are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, they may be able to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave without having to fear losing their job or being demoted.
Unfortunately, despite gains in the movement for equal rights, sexual harassment in the workplace is an ongoing issue. People in Tennessee who are being harassed at work may need to take legal action after exhausting internal procedures for addressing their situation. Harassment can be very damaging for both women and men alike, as men can also be subjected to sexual harassment. Therefore, it is important for all workers to be able to recognize what constitutes unlawful harassment in the workplace, so they can take appropriate action.
Workers with many years of job experience can be a valuable asset to any Tennessee business. They have seen many situations that can arise in the course of their job duties, and they know how to handle them. In addition, they can often serve as mentors to younger workers. However, older workers are sometimes seen as "dinosaurs" who are out-of-touch with technology or other workplace advancements. Thus, workers seeking a promotion or job-seekers seeking employment may be passed up due to their age.