Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act

August 24th, 2011   •   Comments Off on Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act   

The state legislature has recently imposed limitations on the authority of cities and counties to adopt their own ordinances or resolutions extending nondiscrimination requirements to groups not currently protected by state law. Currently, the Tennessee Human Rights Act (“THRA”) prohibits discrimination against individuals based on their “race, creed, color, religion, sex, age or national origin.” With the passage of the Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act, cities and counties are now prohibited from extending nondiscrimination protections or requirements beyond the groups currently protected by the THRA. The prohibition does not apply with respect to employees of a local government. The law, effective May 31, 2011, applies retroactively and repeals an ordinance passed by the Nashville and Davidson Metropolitan Council that prohibited companies doing business with the local government from discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The state legislature also took the opportunity to clarify the definition of “sex” under state law by affirmatively stating that it refers “only to the designation of an individual person as male or female as indicated on the individual’s birth certificate.”


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Latosha Dexter




Source: Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell



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