Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has signed House Bill 785, which protects employers from negligent hiring lawsuits under certain circumstances. House Bill 785 is effective immediately.
House Bill 785 protects employers from lawsuits that accuse the employer of negligently hiring, training, supervising, and retaining an employee or an independent contractor if the lawsuit is based solely on the fact that the worker was previously convicted of a criminal offense.
House Bill 785 does not protect employers from liability if they knew, or should have known, of the employee's prior conviction and the conviction was due to:
- A violent offense;
- An offense committed while the employee was performing substantially similar duties to those they performed during their employment, or under substantially similar conditions; or
- An offense involving fraud or the misuse of funds or property, if the suit alleges an employee's misuse of funds or property and the employer should have foreseen that the employee's role would entail the employee managing a third party's funds or property.
Tennessee employers should update their hiring policies and procedures to ensure compliance with House Bill 785. Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.