Tennessee employers face an ever increasing number of anti-retaliation statutes compared to even 20 years ago. With the passage of one this year, there are over 30 federal "whistleblower" statutes of some kind or another and at least 8 state retaliation statutes or causes of action. While some statutes, such as Title VII, include retaliation provisions, others do not. Nevertheless, courts have implied retaliation causes of action into statutes that do not have retaliation clauses.
While legally, retaliation claims are a subset of discrimination claims, in practice, retaliation issues raise unique concerns for employers. Employers must know the statutes that protect conduct or complaints by employees, the type of employer responses that courts or agencies will find to be evidence of a retaliatory motives, and the simple steps employers may take to defeat retaliatory inferences. Federal contractors, moreover, have additional concerns because acquisition regulations include specific prohibitions against reimbursement of costs in certain retaliation claims.
Kramer Rayson attorneys have also advised employers on successfully managing "whistleblowers" while they remain employed to avoid costly litigation. We also have extensive experience defending retaliation claims brought in state and federal court as well as in federal agency proceedings. Our past and present defenses include retaliation claims bought under the Energy Reorganization Act, the six major environmental statutes, the Family and Medical Leave Act, retaliation claims under Title VII, the NLRA, ADEA, and state law claims alleging violation of the Tennessee Public Protection Act, claims alleging retaliation for seeking workers' compensation benefits.
As is true of discrimination claims, where an employer is sued, our goal is to defend the action to an acceptable resolution as expeditiously as possible. Kramer Rayson attorneys support early mediation of claims that have a reasonable chance of settlement because that brings certainty and finality to the employer's potential liability.
To speak with one of our attorneys about your particular legal issue, call Kramer Rayson LLP at 865-525-5134 or contact us online. With offices in Knoxville and Oak Ridge, we regularly serve clients throughout the state and beyond.