Today's businesses must comply with a host of federal, state and local statutes governing the employer-employee relationship.
At the Knoxville law firm of Kramer Rayson LLP, we have been providing high-quality representation to employers across Tennessee since 1948. Our services range from providing general counsel to litigating employment disputes. Over the past six decades, we have handled countless statutory and common law claims, including those that involved:
- Sexual harassment
- Discrimination due to race, gender, age or other factors
- Hostile work environment
- Whistleblower retaliation and wrongful discharge
- Defamation (libel and slander)
- Breach of contract
- Employee benefit plans
- Outrageous conduct/intentional infliction of emotional distress
- Invasion of privacy
- Enforcement of confidentiality and noncompete covenants
- Labor relations and unions
Our employment law attorneys are Edward G. Phillips, Warren L. Gooch, Thomas M. Hale, Beecher A. Bartlett, Jr., John C. Burgin, John E. Winters, Robert L. Bowman, Steven E. Kramer, Kate E. Tucker, Betsy J. Beck, William J. Carver, Shannon Coleman Egle, Brandon L. Morrow, Camille H. Sanders and Bryce E. Fitzgerald.
A History Of Precedent-Setting Employment Law Cases
Our employment law practice dates back to our firm's founding when Russell Kramer (and later Ed Rayson) represented Atomic Energy Commission contractors in Oak Ridge who were involved in the Manhattan Project.
Mr. Kramer successfully persuaded the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and later the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit that the atomic bomb was "sui generis" and therefore outside the interstate commerce provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Young v. Kellex Corp., 82 F. Supp. 953 (E.D. Tenn. 1948); Selby v. J. A. Jones Constr. Co., 175 F.2d 143 (6th Cir. 1949).
Shortly afterwards, Mr. Rayson persuaded the National Labor Relations Board that the Oak Ridge Hospital was not subject to the National Labor Relations Act, which was another precedent-setting decision.
Since then, our firm has represented and advised clients on claims arising under the following statutes:
- National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 141 – 187.
- Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 – 262.
- Equal Pay Act of 1963, 29 U.S.C. § 206(d).
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e-1 – 2000e-17.
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 – 634.
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12001 – 12213.
- Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 ("FMLA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 2601 – 2654.
- Civil Rights Acts of 1870 and 1871, 42 U.S.C §§ 1981 & 1983.
- Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 ("OSHA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 651 – 678.
- Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1001 – 1461.
- Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 ("ERA"), 42 U.S.C. § 5851.
- False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h).
- Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act ("WARN"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 2101 – 2109.
- Uniform Services Employee Reinstatement Rights Act ("USERRA"), 38 U.S.C. §§ 4301 – 4334.
- Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.
- Tennessee Human Rights Act, Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 4-21-101 – 4-21-408.
- Tennessee Disability Act, Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-50-103.
- The Tennessee Public Protection Act, Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-1-304.
Providing Best Practices For Tennessee Employers
Our lawyers have prepared "best practices" that employers may consult and measure against their own employment practices. These best practices are designed to help minimize the risk of having an employment lawsuit filed or, if one is filed, to maximize the employer's chances of prevailing.
We offer guidance to help with the beginning of the employment relationship in our Hiring and Compensation section. These Best Practices include helpful information on Hiring Employees, Compensating Employees, Compensating Tipped Employees, and Immigration and I-9 Compliance.
When it comes to implementing effective ground rules, we suggest consulting our Effective Policies Best Practices, which include: Employee Handbooks, Managing Employee Information, Employee Technology Use, and Reductions in Force.
Employee leave issues can often leave human resource departments scratching their heads. To avoid confusion, consult our Employee Benefits and Time Off Best Practices for information regarding Avoiding ERISA Pitfalls and Employee Absences and Medical Leave.
And finally, whether your business is facing a civil rights charge, or simply wants to avoid one, our Harassment and Discrimination section will provide valuable insight and advice on Defending Claims of Harassment and Discrimination.
For more information about our employment law services, call our offices in Knoxville or Oak Ridge at 865-525-5134 or contact our firm online. We regularly serve clients throughout the state and beyond.