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23 Nov

November 2021: New Tennessee Law Restricts Workplace Vaccine Requirements

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Update Applicable to:
All employers in Tennessee.

What happened?
On November 12, 2021, Governor Lee signed Senate Bill 9014 (SB 9014) into law creating Title 14 of the Tennessee Code, prohibiting vaccination requirements, and allowing former employees to collect unemployment benefits.

What are the details?
Effective November 18, 2021, private employers who employ one or more employees within Tennessee, governmental entities, and schools are prohibited from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination or taking adverse action against an employee or applicant for refusing to provide proof of vaccination if the employee or applicant objects to vaccination for any reason.

Additionally, the new law– creating Title 14 of the Tennessee Code–provides that employees may collect unemployment benefits if they are separated from employment as a result of refusing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 

An employer may be sued if they violate Title 14. Title 14 creates a private right of action, allowing employees and members of the public to sue for injunctive relief, compensatory damages, and attorney’s fees if they believe they have been injured.

For more information, please see the links below:

House Bill 9077 (HB 9077)


What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and make adjustments to their COVID-19 vaccination policies.