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The Tennessee Excellence, Accountability and Management Act (T.E.A.M. Act), enacted in 2012, has completely changed the rights of State of Tennessee employees if an adverse job action has been taken by their employer. The appeal process for dismissal, demotion or suspension is very different than it was in the past.
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An employee cannot have a representative present during Step I meetings unless the agency has more than one person present; however, you may audio record that discussion for evidence and for a later meeting with an attorney.
You are required to provide a written statement detailing why the Step I decision was in error. You may wish to have an attorney assist you with the creation of this important document.
If the dismissal, demotion or suspension (which must be for 3 or more days) is appealed, you are entitled to a pre-hearing conference, discovery, motions and a hearing. Having an attorney represent you in protecting your job can be invaluable. You may also be asked to participate in a mediation, where the presence of an attorney looking out for your best interest may be a significant advantage for you.
TVA and Federal Employees
Depending on your length of service and agency, you may have a right to a hearing on any adverse job decision that involves loss of pay or opportunity for promotion. Don't go through an internal EEO process without seeking legal advice, and remember that you must take prompt action as soon as you are aware that your rights were violated. The time to act can be a few short weeks from the date you became aware, or should have been aware, that you were passed over for a job or denied a right. Representation is paid for on an hourly basis.
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Disclaimer: The information contained on this website does not constitute legal advice. It is general information only and will not apply to every situation. No attorney-client relationship exists between you and Young Law Office, P.C. until an in-person meeting has occurred and a representation agreement has signed by both parties. Please be aware that the firm accepts cases in the East Tennessee area only.