TN AFL-CIO Labor Council
TN AFL-CIO Labor Council
February 27, 2015
We now have a pretty good idea of the legislation (both good and bad) that we'll be facing during this year's legislative session. Listed below are the bills that we're tracking so far. We've provided a brief summary of what the legislation would do, but if you'd like to read the whole bill, simply click on the bill number.

While very few of these are on next week's calendars, we want to draw your attention to them. The next legislative update will be much more comprehensive and detailed. As noted, you may be asked to contact your state representative or senator now on particularly bad legislation. If you have any questions about any of these bills, please don't hesitate to give our lobbyists (A.J. Starling and Jerry Winters) a call at (615) 269-7111.

Tracked Legislation

HB 603/SB 123 (Durham/Kelsey): This very BAD piece of legislation would prohibit collective bargaining agreements between labor unions and local governments. This bill would be crippling to Labor! If you have not already done so, please contact your state representative or senator and ask them to vote "no" on this bill!

HB 997/SB 721(Durham/Green): Another BAD bill, this would create the "Tennessee Employee Injury Benefit Alternative" and allow businesses to opt out of Workers' Compensation. Once again, please contact your state representative or senator and ask them to vote "no" on this bill! 

HB 757/SB 475 (Holt/Bell): According to this bill, if someone owns a franchise restaurant, they would not have to follow directives given by corporate headquarters. Example: a wage increase order would not have to be followed by a Tennessee store. In other words, this is a BAD bill that would negatively impact things like the Fight for $15. Please contact your state representative or senator and ask them to vote "no" on this bill!  
HB 76/SB 86 (McCormick/Norris): According to our interpretation of this bill, incentives could be withheld if a company has any type of agreement with employees. This legislation would be detrimental to unions. Does this sound familiar? (UAW/Volkswagen) Once again, please contact your state representative or senator and ask them to vote "no" on this BAD bill! 

HB 92/SB 103 (McCormick/Norris):As described in the caption, this bill would "allow employees covered by the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act to be covered by OSHA." We are working to gather more information on this, but from what we know so far, this is not a good bill. 

HB 226/SB 330 (Doss/Johnson): According to this bill, the Prevailing Wage Act would only apply to state highway construction projects.

"Good" Bills

HB 483/SB 653 (Stewart/Kyle): This bill would increase penalties for those who violate OSHA.

HB 579/SB 659 (Hardaway/Kyle): This piece of legislation would enact the "Tennessee Minimum Wage Act." 

HB 1257/SB 1063 (Turner/Harris): Another minimum wage bill, this would set the hourly rate at $10.10

HB 552/SB 662 (Fitzhugh/Kyle): This bill would require employers to allow employees with school-age children time to participate in school activities. 

HB 903/SB 864 (Clemmons/Kyle): We are working to gather more information on this bill, but as summarized, it would enact the "Tennessee Pay Equality Act."  

HB 768/SB 1066 (Fitzhugh/Harris): This bill requires that employee handbooks include guidelines for adoption and pregnancy leave. 

HB 967/SB 1081 (Shaw/Harris): This piece of legislation enacts the "Tennessee First Act," which would give preference to Tennessee contractors for certain state projects.

HB 974/SB 1159 (Massey/Hill): This bill would create the "Tennessee Pregnant Workers Fairness Act" and require that employers must make "reasonable accommodations" for employees regarding pregnancy and childbirth. 

HB 1297/SB 1278 (Sparks/Kelsey): According to this bill, employers who increase the number of full-time employees will receive tax credits and other incentives.

HB 1027/SB 1370 (Stewart/Kyle): This piece of legislation would create the "Public Construction Contractor Safety Act."