2 Labor Issues NFIB/Tennessee will tackle in 2016

Date: January 18, 2016 Last Edit: January 21, 2016

NFIB plans to go to bat for small business on issues important to members.

In November, NFIB/Tennessee released the 2016 State Ballot for member input, and results indicate positions NFIB will likely take on several key issues this year.

Here’s a look:

Patients Compensation Act: Neutral

Legislation has been introduced to establish an administrative patients’ compensation system, modeled after other states’ workers’ compensations systems. This would serve as the only method for medical malpractice and error claims, and appeals would be heard by an administrative law judge. The bill would cover physicians, but not hospitals or other healthcare professionals.

NFIB anticipates maintaining a neutral position on the proposed Patients Compensation Act, based on the mixed reaction from members.

Ban the Box: Opposed

Legislation has been proposed that would make it unlawful for a business to inquire about or require an applicant to disclose any criminal convictions during the application process and initial interview, also known as “banning the box.” Background checks, including a criminal history check, could only occur afterward.

Based on overwhelming negative feedback from members on this proposed law, NFIB plans to oppose any traditional “ban the box” initiative. There is also an alternative law proposed (which passed last year in Louisiana) that would provide immunity to employers who hire people with a criminal history, and NFIB is still waiting for more member feedback on this position.

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: Opposed

Legislation has been filed requiring Tennessee employers to provide “reasonable accommodation” for pregnant workers before and after childbirth. Under the proposal, pregnant workers’ requests must be accommodated unless the employer demonstrates they would impose “undue hardship.” Pregnant workers could also sue on several grounds, and rulemaking authority would go to Tennessee’s Human Rights Commission.

NFIB plans to oppose the proposed Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, based on the solid opposition stance from members in the results.


Related Content: Small Business News | Economy | Tennessee

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