Employment litigation reforms on their way to Haslam

Amid their late-session surge in activity, state lawmakers this week passed a bill reforming several aspects of workplace-related litigation. Among other things, the changes cap compensatory damages that can be awarded — aligning state statutes with their federal counterparts — and streamlines the path for whistleblower claims. Baker Donelson attorneys Ben Bodzy and Larry Eastwood, who drafted most of the legislation, have a summary here.

Under the new legislation, an employee may only proceed under the statutory claim, which requires the employee to prove that the alleged whistleblowing was the "sole cause" of the termination.  This effectuates the legislature's "sole cause" standard already incorporated into the TPPA, and it prevents employees from invoking the common law's lower causation standard.  The effect of this legislation will be to facilitate the defense of questionable whistleblower claims.

SEE ALSO: The bill summary from The General Assembly's website