New laws take effect 2021

Tennessee lawmakers were unable to meet as much this year due to the pandemic but there are a few laws that will be in place on Jan. 1. One law that would affect Tennesseans is the age restriction on buying tobacco products. Previously, the age that a person could legally purchase tobacco products was 18, but in accordance with federal law that age is now 21. The language in the law is like those for purchasing alcohol for a minor and carries similar penalties. 

Another law in affect in the coming days has to do with the Amber Alert system. The Holly Bobo Act will allow amber alerts to be issued for missing persons under the age of 21. The act is so named from the famous missing person case of the same name, and the victim’s family believed that an Amber Alert could have helped.

911 operators will be able to issue CPR instructions over the phone across the state. Previously, only certain counties allowed the practice to occur.

The Department of Veterans Services will also now be required to provide training for suicide prevention for those employees that will be directly interacting with veterans.

The Tennessee Pregnant Workers Fairness Act ensures reasonable accommodations at the workplace for the safety of the woman and child. The bill uses having a place to sit and extra bathroom breaks as such examples of accommodations, but there are more listed. The bill also mentions guidelines for dealing with pregnancy in the workplace for both employers and employees.