Labor and Employment Law Section

The section focuses on all traditional labor relations issues and matters arising in individual employment rights. A continuing legal education seminar on employment law issues is sponsored annually by the section, as is a regular newsletter.

Chair
Waller Lansden Dortch Davis
PO Box 198966
Nashville, TN 37219
(615)244-6380
Immediate Past Chair
Frost Brown Todd LLC
150 3rd Ave So Ste 1900
Nashville, TN 37201
(615)251-5594

MTSU Employee Awarded Damages in Retaliation Lawsuit

The Tennessee Supreme Court unanimously reinstated a jury verdict, finding that a former maintenance employee of Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) suffered unlawful retaliation through the actions of his supervisor. Jim Ferguson, a Japanese-American, argued that shortly after he filed a discrimination lawsuit against MTSU, his supervisor retaliated against him by requiring him to perform tasks outside his medical restrictions, increasing his work assignments and engaging in other retaliatory conduct. A jury rejected Ferguson’s discrimination and malicious harassment claims, but found MTSU had retaliated against him and awarded him damages. The Tennessee Court of Appeals reversed the jury award, but on appeal the Tennessee Supreme Court disagreed. Chief Justice Sharon G. Lee authored the opinion for the court. The Administrative Office of the Courts has more.

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Appeals Court Denies Girl Scouts’ Pension Request

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has upheld a district court ruling involving a local Girl Scouts council’s pension dispute with its parent organization, the Nashville Post reports. In 2012, the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee (GSMT) sued Girl Scouts of America after the national group’s pension plan went from a 2007 surplus of $150 million to a $340 million deficit five years later. GSMT asked a district court to force the national organization to spin off pension assets, alleging breaches of fiduciary duty and financial mismanagement. It also asked the court to force the national group to allow it to operate its own plan. The district court dismissed the claim and, last week, the appeals court upheld the dismissal. The three-judge panel said allowing the spin-off would be tantamount to creating a new law.

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