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Tim Garrett helps employers solve complex issues related to all aspects of labor and employment law, providing in depth counseling and developing creative solutions to underlying business issues. He is an experienced trial lawyer, defending employers of all sizes in employment litigation claims across the country. His work has ranged from defending a major university during a significant wage and hour collective action involving thousands of employees to the successful defense of a major healthcare provider in a gender discrimination / retaliation case. In addition, Tim has served as nationwide labor and employment counsel for the largest nonprofit dialysis company in the U.S.

I enjoyed attending the recent 2021 Tennessee Society for Human Resource Management (TN SHRM) Conference & Expo last month and was thrilled to host a session titled “FMLA Cases Presenting Cutting Edge Legal Issues: Are You Prepared to Defend Your Organization from Challenge to Your FMLA Administration?”

Following my session, I had the opportunity to

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

Join us for a virtual seminar in which Bass, Berry & Sims labor & employment attorneys will address a broad range of recent employment law developments and anticipated issues significant to employers and provide practical guidance for understanding the associated impacts and legal challenges.

Topics covered during the webinar will include:

  • Return to work update

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) recently announced it was changing course on whether students should be considered employees and therefore can unionize. This change of course returns to previous Board precedent from case law that graduate students, and perhaps any students employed for pay, can be considered employees. This change of course

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision on Monday, June 15, in the case of Bostock v. Clayton County, ruling that the prohibitions against discrimination “because of sex” contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) extend to protect gay and transgender employees against workplace discrimination. Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the opinion of the Court with Justices Alito and Kavanaugh each issuing dissenting opinions. In each of the three consolidated cases upon which this opinion was rendered, an employee had been terminated from employment for being gay or transgender.

The three employees brought suit in three different jurisdictions. In one case, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that Title VII’s protections did not prohibit employers from firing employees for being gay, and dismissed the lawsuit. In the other two cases, the Second Circuit and Sixth Circuit ruled that Title VII did provide the alleged protections and had permitted the cases involving those two employees to proceed. These inconsistent rulings, therefore, set the following question before the Court:

Is it legally permissible under Title VII’s language prohibiting discrimination “because of sex” for an employer to take an adverse action against an employee merely because the employee is gay or transgender? 

Continue Reading Supreme Court Rules that Title VII Protects LGBTQ Employees

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the new stimulus package recently passed by Congress, includes a “union neutrality” mandate for mid-sized employers who accept loan proceeds.  This union neutrality commitment would be in place for the life of the loan.  Mid-sized employers are defined as those with 500 to 10,000 employees.

For many years, to assist their organizing efforts, unions have demanded of certain multi-state employers that they commit to “stay neutral” in union organizing campaigns at other company sites.  Such neutrality demands have included asking the employer not to express opinions which disfavor the union’s organizing efforts, or not to hold captive audience speeches during the union’s organizing drive, or to accept a showing of majority status by way of checking authorization cards (i.e., that the employer not demand a secret-ballot election to determine if the union has majority support).

Continue Reading Employers Beware – Union Neutrality Requirements in New Stimulus Package

On Sunday, March 22, Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced the “Safer at Home Order,” issued by the Medical Director pursuant to the Metro Public Health Department’s declaration of a Health Emergency. This order closes non-essential businesses and encourages residents throughout Davidson County (Tennessee) to stay home when possible and avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people for non-essential purposes. The Order does not restrict or limit any employer’s right to ask employees to work from home.

Until further notice, all businesses not performing essential services have been ordered closed for 14 days beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday, March 23.

Continue Reading Nashville Mayor John Cooper Announces Safer at Home Order

According to the National Restaurant Association, older adults have been the fastest-growing cohort of employees, and mismanaging those workforce dynamics can pose some compliance issues and concerns for employers. I recently discussed ways for employers to respond to the growing age gap in the restaurant industry in a recent article for Modern Restaurant Management.

Although most employers know that age is a protected category and there is no “mandatory retirement age,” compliance issues may arise when employers are careless in the ways they address performance management in older employees.

Continue Reading Age Discrimination in the Restaurant Industry

We are excited to be presenting a CLE webinar titled, “An Employer’s Obligations in the ADA Interactive Process” on February 11.

This 60-minute webinar will examine employers’ obligations within the interactive process, including how to recognize qualifying accommodation requests, what information an employer should request and be provided, and the process of exploring accommodation options

This was originally posted on November 7 and has been updated to include the more recent article.

I recently discussed the potential for age discrimination in the workplace when companies focus too much on recruitment of young employees. The article argues that by focusing solely on young talent, organizations miss out on the “perspective” and