As employees are increasingly returning to the office, a new amendment to existing Tennessee law regarding vaccination further complicates the landscape for employers concerning COVID-19 vaccine mandates. See the full text of the amendment here.
Chapter 2 of Title 14 of the Tennessee Code, passed in November 2021 by the Tennessee Legislature, prohibits a private business, governmental entity, school, or local education agency from compelling or otherwise taking “adverse action” against a person to compel proof of having received a COVID-19 vaccination if the person objects to being vaccinated “for any reason.” See TCA 14-2-102(a). In other words, a private business in Tennessee cannot take adverse action against a person based on their vaccination status. As you may recall, Title 14 provided private businesses with an opportunity to request an exemption from this blanket restriction on their ability to require proof of vaccination by requesting the comptroller exclude the entity from the purview of this law.