TN Chamber seminars aim to clear up confusion about new COVID-19 legislation – Community News
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TN Chamber seminars aim to clear up confusion about new COVID-19 legislation

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WKRN) — The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry is working to help businesses break through the confusion of recently passed state legislation that would affect the way businesses operate during the pandemic.

“When the legislature passed House Bill 9077, we knew right away that there would really be an immediate need for companies to comply with this new law,” said Ryan King, the chamber’s vice president of Government Relations. “When you couple that with the OSHA rule that just came out and has stuck ever since, it’s really created an unprecedented amount of confusion.”

The Chamber hosts a series of free compliance seminars to help all businesses comply with Tennessee’s recently passed COVID-19 requirements for employers.

“We are working to spread the word to all employers throughout Tennessee and help any company that needs guidance to navigate the complexities of both state and federal policies,” said Chamber Chairman/CEO Bradley Jackson. “It is our duty to ensure that all employers understand their legal requirements. We understand that recent federal orders and state law can lead to confusion and costly lawsuits. Employers need to know how to comply with this.”

Lawmakers in Tennessee recently met in a special session where they passed legislation on how companies are coping with the pandemic. However, the TN Chamber has opposed both federal and state mandates regarding vaccination, masking and testing for companies.

King said the fact that HB9077 would take effect immediately if signed by the governor makes this even more urgent for companies to understand how to comply. They called in hundreds of companies to gain more understanding after the legislation passed quickly without many having input.

“Our legislature is one of the best in the country when it comes to making us a place that’s friendly to business. And I think that’s manifested itself in many ways, where it’s been very clear over the past month that we have a very strong business environment in Tennessee,” King said. “We think this one is a little different. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a mandate like this in business, a mandate with a private right of action, that allows someone to actually sue a company for making a decision about their own business, taking and dismissing decisions about their own business.”

The first compliance seminar will be held on Tuesday, November 9 at 10 a.m. CST. The series of virtual meetings is free to attend and has no registration fee or limit. Legal experts will be on hand to review the complexity of the measures and answer questions from employers. The Tennessee Chamber is hosting a second seminar on Nov. 17 to focus on the exemption process for qualified employers. In addition, a final compliance seminar will elaborate on anticipated OSHA emergency rules.

To register, visit www.tnchamber.org/complianceseminar

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