Photo of Ashley Li

Ashley Li advises clients related to all facets of employment and labor law. She provides counsel to employers on issues regarding wrongful termination, discrimination, employee discipline, defamation, harassment, and other matters. She also has experience representing clients in litigation matters related to compliance with state and federal employment law issues involving wage and hour violations and leave-related issues.

Over the past two years, the pandemic has forced employers to navigate unchartered waters. The focus on health and safety, managing a remote workforce, and staying abreast of the evolving COVID-19-related guidance has left in-house counsel and human resources professionals with little time to focus on the fundamental steps essential to proactively and successfully manage employee issues. While the challenges associated with COVID-19 remain at the forefront of employers’ concerns, it is time to return to familiar waters and revisit some of the best HR-related practices.

We are excited to offer the final installment of this three-part series, both in-person and virtually, via webinar. For those local to the Nashville area, we invite you to join the Bass, Berry & Sims labor & employment attorneys for the in-person presentation where they will address best practices across a range of topics, including:

  • The keys to performance management: establishing and managing performance expectations.
  • Tips for managing difficult employees.
  • Making termination decisions while ensuring compliance with legal requirements.


Continue Reading [WEBINAR] Best Practices for Managing Performance and Challenging Employees

Tennessee recently enacted a minimal expansion of its medical marijuana law.  The law took effect May 27, 2021, and it slightly enlarges the medical conditions for which persons may possess a very limited amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  Previously, Tennessee law allowed only those diagnosed with intractable seizures or epilepsy to possess a limited amount of medical cannabis oil.  The law also creates a commission to study the possibility of future medical marijuana legalization.

The new measure allows individuals who have the following medical conditions to possess CBD oil containing less than 0.9% of THC:

  • Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
  • Cancer, when such disease is diagnosed as end-stage or the treatment produces related wasting illness, nausea and vomiting, or pain.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • Epilepsy or seizures.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
  • Sickle cell disease.


Continue Reading Tennessee Expands (Minimally) Medical Marijuana Law and Establishes Cannabis Commission

In response to President Biden’s Executive Order issued on January 21, 2021, directing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to take action to reduce the risk that workers may contract COVID-19 in the workplace, OSHA has issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to set forth guidelines to protect healthcare workers.

Effective June 21, 2021, the ETS applies only to settings where any employee provides healthcare services or healthcare support services.  The masking, distancing, and barrier requirements under the ETS do not apply to settings with well-defined areas where all employees are fully vaccinated and there is no reasonable expectation that any person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 will be present. OSHA has provided a flowchart to determine which workplaces are affected.

Develop and implement a COVID-19 plan:  Employers are required to develop and implement a plan to combat COVID-19.  This plan must be in writing if there are more than 10 employees.  Employers must conduct hazard assessments for each specific workplace to identify potential COVID-19 hazards and designate a safety coordinator with the authority to ensure compliance with all aspects of the plan.

Limit and monitor points of entry:  In workplaces where direct patient care is provided, employers must limit and monitor points of entry.  Patients, clients, residents, and other visitors must also be screened and triaged.  Other patient management strategies must be implemented per CDC guidance.

Continue Reading OSHA Issues Emergency Temporary Standard to Protect Healthcare Workers from COVID-19

The legislatures of Oregon, Nevada and Illinois recently placed additional limitations on restrictive covenants, particularly non-competition covenants.

Changes to Oregon Restrictive Covenants

Effective as to agreements entered into on or after May 21, 2021, Oregon has further restricted non-compete agreements.  Oregon previously limited non-compete agreements to a maximum of 18 months from the date of separation and to only those employees who do the following:

  • Engage in administrative, executive or professional work.
  • Perform predominately intellectual, managerial or creative tasks.
  • Exercise discretion and independent judgment.
  • Are paid a salary (or combination of salary and commissions) that exceeds the median income for a four-person family.


Continue Reading Oregon, Nevada and Illinois Further Limit Restrictive Covenants