When used in this regulation:
includes the Tennessee Human Rights Act, Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.),
Title 4, and Chapter 21, and the Tennessee Handicap Act, Tennessee Code
Annotated, Title 8, Chapter 50, Section 103.
(b) "Administrative Determination" means the
determination reached by the Commission pursuant to the investigative findings
made, and legal conclusions drawn, following an investigation under the
(c) "Chairman" means the duly
elected Chairman of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission or, in the event of
his or her absence or inability to act, the Vice-chairman, who has been
designated by the Commission, or if such Vice-chairman is unable to act, a
Commissioner designated by the Commissioners.
(d) "Commission" means the Tennessee Human
"Commissioner" or "Commissioners" mean any person appointed by the Governor to
serve on the Commission.
"Complainant" means the person by whom or on whose behalf a complaint is
Practice" means any direct or indirect act or practice of exclusion,
distinction, restriction, segregation, limitation, refusal, denial, or any
other act or practice which constitutes different treatment or preference of a
person or persons based on race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, national
origin, or handicap.
includes the state, or any political or civil subdivision thereof, any person
employing eight (8) or more persons within the state, or any person acting as
an agent of an employer, directly or indirectly;
(i) "Employment agency" means any person or
agency, public or private, regularly undertaking, with or without compensation,
to procure employees for an employer or to procure for persons opportunities to
work for an employer.
"Executive Director" means the individual appointed by the Commissioners
pursuant to Commission bylaws as the administrative head of the Commission. The
Executive Director shall be empowered with the authority to appoint the
necessary professional, technical, and clerical staff, which shall be covered
by and subject to the provisions of the rules and regulations, to carry out the
provisions of the Act and these rules. Any powers vested in the Executive
Director, and any duties imposed upon him or her by the Act or these rules and
regulations, may be exercised or discharged by the Executive Director or the
Executive Director's designee in his or her absence. In the event the Executive
Director becomes incapacitated to the extent that he or she can no longer
perform his or her duties, such duties may be performed by the Deputy Director,
or, in the absence of the Deputy Director, a designee selected by the Executive
Director before incapacitation.
"Financial institution" means a bank, banking organization, mortgage company,
insurance company or other lender to whom application is made for financial
assistance for the purchase, lease, acquisition, construction, rehabilitation,
repair, maintenance or improvements of real property, or an individual employed
by or acting on behalf of a financial institution.
"Handicap" means, with respect to a
1. A physical or mental impairment
that substantially limits one (1) or more of such person's major life
2. A record of having
such an impairment; or
regarded as having such an impairment.
4. "Handicap" does not include current,
illegal use of, or addiction to, a controlled substance.
(m) "Hearing examiner" means one (1) or more
persons or Commissioners, designated by the Commission to conduct a hearing.
The Commission has the sole power to determine qualifications of the hearing
accommodation" includes improved and unimproved property and means a building,
structure, lot or part thereof that is used or occupied, or is intended,
arranged or designed to be used or occupied, as the home or residence of one
(1) or more individuals.
"Investigator" shall mean a member of the Commission staff designated by the
Executive Director, or an approved contractor designated by the Executive
Director, empowered to investigate the allegations of a complaint.
(p) "Labor organization" includes any
organization that exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of collective
bargaining or of dealing with employers concerning grievances, terms or
conditions of employment, or for other mutual aid or protection in relation to
employment or any agent acting for a labor organization.
(q) "National origin" includes the national
origin of an ancestor.
Reasonable Cause" means that after an investigation, the Commission has
determined that the respondent has not engaged in a discriminatory practice.
Such determinations will be made using the standards set forth in the policies,
regulations, statutes, and our contracts with the United States Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the United States Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
(s) "Person" or "Persons" includes one (1) or
more individuals, governments, governmental agencies, public authorities, labor
organizations, corporations, legal representatives, partnerships, associations,
trustees, trustees in bankruptcy, receivers , mutual companies, joint stock
companies, trusts, unincorporated organizations or other organized groups of
"Places of public
accommodation, resort or amusement" includes any place, store or other
establishment, either licensed or unlicensed, that supplies goods or services
to the general public or that solicits or accepts the patronage or trade of the
general public, or that is supported directly or indirectly by government
funds, except that:
1. A bona fide private
club is not a place of public accommodation, resort or amusement if its
policies are determined solely by its members; and
2. Its facilities or services are available
only to its members and their bona fide guests.
(u) "Real estate broker" or "real estate
salesperson" means an individual, whether licensed or not, who, on behalf of
others, for a fee, commission, salary, or other valuable consideration, or who
with the intention or expectation of receiving or collecting the same, lists,
sells, purchases, exchanges, rents or leases real estate, or the improvements
thereon, including options, or who negotiates or attempts to negotiate on
behalf of others such activity; or who advertises or holds such individual out
as engaged in such activities; or who negotiates or attempts to negotiate on
behalf of others a loan secured by mortgage or other encumbrance upon a
transfer of real estate, or who is engaged in the business of charging an
advance fee or contracting for collection of a fee in connection with a
contract whereby such individual undertakes to promote the sale, purchase,
exchange, rental, or lease of real estate through its listing in a publication
issued primarily for such purpose; or an individual employed by or acting on
behalf of a real estate broker or salesperson.
(v) "Real estate operator" means any
individual or combination of individuals, labor unions, joint apprenticeship
committees, partnerships, associations, corporations, legal representatives,
mutual companies, joint-stock companies, trusts, unincorporated organizations,
trustees in bankruptcy, receivers or other legal or commercial entities, or the
county or any of its agencies, that is engaged in the business of selling,
purchasing, exchanging, renting or leasing real estate, or the improvements
thereon, including options, or that derives income, in whole or in part, from
the sale, purchase, exchange, rental or lease of real estate; or an individual
employed by or acting on behalf of a real estate operator.
(w) "Real estate transaction" includes the
sale, exchange, rental or lease of real property.
(x) "Real property" includes buildings,
structures, real estate, lands, tenements, leaseholds, cooperatives,
condominiums, and hereditaments, corporeal and incorporeal, or any interest in
(y) "Reasonable Cause" means
that after an investigation, the Commission has determined that the respondent
has engaged in a discriminatory practice. Such determinations will be made
using the standards set forth in the policies, regulations, statutes, and our
contracts with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
(z) "Respondent" means the
person, employer, employment agency, labor organization, housing providers,
real estate brokers, salespersons or operators, financial institutions, and
persons owning or operating places of public accommodation, resort or amusement
against whom a complaint is filed.
(aa) "Sex" means and refers only to the
designation of an individual person as male or female as indicated on the
individual's birth certificate.
(bb) "Verified" means sworn to or affirmed
before a notary public, or supported by a declaration in writing under penalty
Complaint. Who may file:
(a) Any individual
claiming to be aggrieved by a discriminatory practice or about to be injured by
a discriminatory practice, may, individually, or through his or her authorized
representative, make, sign, and file with the Commission a written verified
complaint. Assistance in drafting and filing complaints, including language
interpretation, shall be available to complainants at the Commission's offices
or from any Commission staff member who has been duly authorized to do so by
the Executive Director. A person who is incompetent of filing for oneself or a
person who has not attained eighteen (18) years of age must file through a
legal parent, legal guardian or legal custodian.
(b) A Commissioner may also make and file a
written verified complaint.
Upon receiving a complaint submitted by the United States Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the United States Department of Housing and
Urban Development (HUD), the Executive Director, or his or her designated
representative, acting in the name of the Commission, may issue a verified
complaint in writing and attach thereto the materials, if any, submitted by the
Complaint Form. The complaint shall be in writing and verified. The Commission
shall make available to the public a standardized complaint form upon request.
The complaint shall contain the following:
The full name and address of the complainant.
(b) The name and address of the person,
employer, labor organization, employment agency, government agency, place of
public accommodation, real estate broker, salesperson or operator, or financial
institution against whom the complaint is made.
(c) A short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the complainant is entitled to relief under the Tennessee Human
(d) The dates and times
of the alleged discriminatory practice, if known, and, if the alleged
discriminatory practice is of a continuing nature, the dates between which
those continuing acts of discrimination are alleged to have occurred, if
(e) A statement as to
whether any action, civil or criminal, instituted by the complainant in any
other forum, based upon the same grievance as is alleged in the complaint, has
been instituted, together with a statement as to the status or disposition of
such other action.
Complainant is responsible for keeping the Commission informed of any changes
in his or her contact information.
(4) Time of filing complaint. A complaint
alleging discrimination must be filed within one hundred eighty (180) days
after the alleged discriminatory practice occurs. If the alleged discriminatory
practice is of a continuing nature, the date of occurrence is the date of the
last discriminatory act, or the date of which the complaint shall have been
filed if the discriminatory practice continues.
(5) Place of filing complaint. A complaint
may be filed with the Commission at any of the Commission's offices.
(6) Manner of filing complaint. A complaint
may be filed by personal delivery, express delivery, ordinary mail, registered
mail, certified mail, or electronic facsimile. The original copy of a complaint
filed by electronic facsimile shall be physically delivered to the Commission
within ten (10) business days of electronic transmission.
Amendment of complaint. The Commission,
the presiding hearing examiner, or the complainant may reasonably and fairly
amend a complaint, subject to the following limitations:
(a) The power to amend a complaint may be
exercised before the issuance of a notice of filing by the Commission's staff
with the consent of the complainant, and after the issuance of a notice of
filing by the presiding hearing examiner upon motion by the
(b) The power to amend
a complaint may be exercised before the issuance of a notice of filing by the
complainant as a matter of right, and after the issuance of a notice of filing
at the discretion of the presiding hearing examiner if he or she determines
such amendment serves the interest of justice.
(c) A complaint may be amended to cure
technical defects or omissions, including failure to verify the charge, or to
clarify allegations made therein. Such amendments and amendments alleging
additional acts which constitute unlawful employment practices related to or
growing out of the subject matter of the original complaint will relate back to
the date the complaint was first received.
Substitution and Addition of Parties.
A complaint may be amended by the
complainant to substitute or name additional parties as respondent(s) if such
parties are successors or assigns of a named respondent. Mere misnomer of a
party shall not be grounds for dismissal and may be cured at any time by
amendment of the complaint. A person may be added as party respondent, even if
that person is not a successor or an assignee of the named respondent, if the
following terms and conditions are met:
charge in the case was filed within one hundred eighty (180) days of the date
of the discriminatory practice allegedly committed by the person sought to be
added as a party respondent;
failure to join the person as a party respondent was inadvertent;
3. The person sought to be added as a party
respondent was given notice of the filing of the charge at the time the
original charge was filed;
nature of the original charge was such that the person sought to be added knew,
within the one hundred eighty (180) day period, that the charge grew out of a
transaction or occurrence involving or concerning him, her or it;
5. The addition of the person sought to be
named as a party respondent does not raise new factual questions which were not
considered by the Commission in its investigation; and
6. The cause of action alleged against the
person sought to be made a party respondent in the case arises out of the same
transaction or occurrence set out in the original complaint.
(b) If a party to a complaint
dies, the proper party or parties may be substituted upon motion to the
Commission. If a motion to substitute is not filed within ninety (90) days
after the death is suggested of record, the complaint may be dismissed as to
the deceased party.
(c) No party
shall be added as a party respondent except as provided in this
Postponement of Hearing Date. If a complaint is amended after a reasonable
cause finding, a hearing date postponement may be granted to the respondent
upon request to the hearing examiner. In no event shall such hearing date be
more than ten (10) days later than the original hearing date.
(10) No Reasonable Cause determination. If it
is determined that there is no reasonable cause to believe that the respondent
has engaged in a discriminatory practice, the Commission, Executive Director,
or a Commission staff member designated by the Executive Director, shall
furnish a copy of the determination letter to the complainant, the respondent,
and such public officers and persons as the commission deems proper.
(11) Reasonable Cause determination. If it is
determined that there is reasonable cause to believe that the respondent has
engaged in a discriminatory practice, the Commission, Executive Director, or a
Commission staff member designated by the Executive Director, shall furnish a
copy of the determination letter to the complainant and the respondent, and
shall specifically name the statute(s) deemed to have been violated.
(12) Withdrawal of complaint. Upon the
written request of the complainant or the complainant's representative, stating
the reasons for such a request, a complaint, or any part thereof, may be
withdrawn, subject to approval by the Commission. Such withdrawal shall be
without prejudice to the rights of the complainant. A withdrawn complaint may
be re-filed, provided such filing occurs within one hundred eighty (180) days
of the discriminatory act originally alleged.
(13) Dismissal of complaint. The
Commissioners, the Executive Director, or a Commission staff member designated
by the Executive Director, may dismiss a complaint at any time, for reasons
including, but not limited to, lack of probable cause, lack of jurisdiction, or
lack of complainant cooperation, whether upon the face of the complaint, after
investigation, or after conference, conciliation and persuasion. If a complaint
is dismissed, the Executive Director, or a Commission staff member designated
by the Executive Director, shall notify the parties by mail of such
determination and of the complainant's right to apply to the Commission for
reconsideration of such dismissal. In any dismissed case that is dual-filed
with either EEOC or HUD, the Commission shall refer the complaint to the
appropriate federal agency for investigation. In housing cases in which the
respondent claims an exemption under T.C.A. §
(2) for property occupied by a family member,
the Commission will forward such complaints to HUD for appropriate
(a) The complainant, within thirty
(30) days after receiving a copy of the order dismissing the complaint, may
file with the Commission an application for reconsideration of the order. Such
application must be in writing and must specifically state the grounds upon
which it is based. Grounds for reconsideration shall include, but not be
limited to, the production of new evidence; evidence not properly considered
during the investigation; or evidence obtained from new witnesses.
(b) Upon receipt of an application for
reconsideration, a Commissioner, the Executive Director, or a Commission staff
member designated by the Executive Director shall reconsider the complaint. The
Executive Director may designate a different investigator to initiate a new
investigation of the complaint. If a new investigation is conducted, the
investigator may consider the evidence gathered in the initial investigation.
The Commission shall, within thirty (30) days, make a new determination of no
reasonable cause or reasonable cause.
(c) Dismissal of a complaint may be
reconsidered by the Commission on its own initiative at any time within thirty
(30) days after such dismissal. Notice of such reconsideration shall be
provided by the Commission to all parties to the complaint.
(15) Nature of discriminatory
practice notices and who must post. Every employer, employment agency, labor
organization, real estate broker, salesperson, or operator, and financial
institution subject to Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 4, Chapter 21 and
Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 8, Chapter 50, Section 103, hereinafter
referred to as the Tennessee Human Rights Act, and Tennessee Handicap Act, or
Act, shall post and maintain at their establishments fair employment practice
notices and/or fair housing practice notices furnished by the Tennessee Human
Rights Commission indicating the substantive provisions of the Tennessee Human
Rights Act, where complaints may be filed, and such other information as the
Tennessee Human Rights Commission deems pertinent.
(16) Where employers, employment agencies,
real estate brokers, salespersons, or operators, and financial institutions
must post. With respect to employers and employment agencies, such notices must
be posted conspicuously in easily accessible areas frequented by employees and
applicants for employment, and at or near each location where the employees'
services are performed. With respect to real estate brokers, salespersons, or
operators, and financial institutions, such notices must be posted
conspicuously in areas frequented by residents and individuals seeking housing
(17) Where labor
organizations must post. With respect to labor organizations, such notices must
be posted conspicuously in easily accessible and well-lighted places
customarily frequented by members and applicants for membership.
(18) Affirmative action plans. An affirmative
action plan filed with the Commission pursuant to T.C.A. §
has not been approved in writing within ninety (90) days of its filing with the
Commission shall be deemed to be disapproved by the Commission. The Commission
shall publish and shall make available upon request guidelines for evaluating
or developing such plans.
Complaints alleging violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Parties who wish to file a complaint against the Commission for violation of
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 USC § 2000d
, or T.C.A. §
, should direct such
complaints to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Office or the United States Equal Employment