In This Issue

3rd Annual Risk & Insurance Symposium

Dangerous Crossroads Ahead

Public Entity Partners’s Annual Dividends Program

Recent Developments in Employment Discrimination

TOSHA’s List of Most Frequently Cited Standards

Tennessee Trivia

Q. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for people who died while serving in our country’s armed forces. How many federal and state veteran cemeteries are located within Tennessee?

Click here for the answer

Message from the President

Dawn Crawford

We are very pleased to announce an additional coverage for members who purchase a property policy from Public Entity Partners.

Effective with the July 1, 2018 policy renewals, we will provide coverage for loss or damage to natural grass athletic fields, including golf course greens, due to vandalism.

This coverage is subject to the limit shown in Item 4 of the declarations for Coverage E., Automatic Coverage 24. Vandalism of Natural Grass Athletic Fields.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone at TML’s annual conference in Knoxville June 9 - 12. We have an extra surprise, so wear your smiles, and come visit us at booths 221, 223, 225, 320, 322 and 324.

Finally, your voice matters! If you have not had a chance to take our short survey, please be sure to do so. This is your PE Partner, and we want to provide the best possible services and programs for our members. The survey can be found at and is open through the end of May.

Dawn Crawford signature
Dawn R. Crawford


3rd Annual Risk & Insurance Symposium

Registration is now underway for Public Entity Partners’s 3rd annual Risk & Insurance Symposium, which is open to all members. We have an exciting program of sessions planned for this year’s symposium, which is scheduled for Aug. 22 - 24.

Symposium topics include:

  • Managing the Media after a Mass Casualty Crisis – The Sandy Hook Tragedy
  • Setting Up Road Courses and Driver Training
  • Contractual Risk Transfer for Local Governments
  • Distracted Driving
  • Family Impact of Work Injuries
  • Opioid Use in Tennessee
  • Dangerous Crossroads Ahead: The Intersection of the First and Fourth Amendments
  • Riots, Protests and Public Gatherings
  • And many more!

In addition to numerous training opportunities, a member recognition lunch is planned for Thursday, Aug. 23rd.

Public Entity Partners will also recognize several Excellence in Risk Management Award winners at the symposium. Last year’s award winners represented each of Tennessee’s three grand divisions, and encompassed a variety of safety and risk management programs. Nominations for the Excellence in Risk Management Awards may be submitted by clicking here.

When: Aug. 22-24, 2018

Where: Franklin Marriott Cool Springs 700 Cool Springs Blvd. Franklin, TN 37067

Who should attend:

  • Anyone with safety responsibilities, interests or concerns
  • Supervisors with safety responsibilities
  • Safety, risk and HR managers
  • Mayors and elected officials
  • City managers/administrators
  • City recorders/clerks
  • Finance directors
  • Human resource employees
  • Fleet managers
  • Training officers
  • City attorneys

To view the agenda and to register, visit

All sessions have been submitted to the Comptroller’s Office for CMFO credit consideration and are marked on the agenda with any applicable credits. If you have questions about the symposium or issues with registration, please contact Halie Gallik at 615.371.6005 or

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Dangerous Crossroads Ahead

Have your police officers ever been videoed by a citizen while in the process of arresting a suspect or making a traffic stop? Would your police officers know how to respond in such a situation or understand when a citizen is within his or her rights to film in public places? It can be challenging to walk the line between citizens’ First Amendment rights to free speech and their Fourth Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

In August at the 3rd Annual Risk & Insurance Symposium, Scott MacLatchie, partner with Womble Bond Dickinson, will present a session titled, “Dangerous Crossroads Ahead: The Intersection of the First and Fourth Amendments.” In this session, participants will examine the liability minefield where search and seizure and free speech interests intersect, and address how to deal with people who may be actively trying to bait the police and government officials into overreaction.

Across the country and in the state of Tennessee, individuals routinely conduct “First Amendment Audits” to see how local governments will react to filming in public places. In some instances, the auditors have deemed that their First Amendment rights have not been respected, while in others they have determined that the local government entity “passed.”

Awareness of these types of situations — and knowing how to navigate them — can prevent an expensive lawsuit. To register for the symposium and attend this informative session, please visit

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Public Entity Partners’s Annual Dividends Program

We shared in March that our Board of Directors has declared a $5 million dividend for Fiscal Year 2018-2019, which includes $2,225,000 in workers’ compensation dividends; $2,285,000 in liability dividends; and $490,000 in property dividends.

When Public Entity Partners’s Board of Directors declares a dividend, it is based upon a number of factors, including the prior year’s loss performance of all PE Partner members, as well as each member’s historical loss ratios. If PE Partner members qualify, they are rewarded with a dividend, which is applied as a credit to their renewal invoices.

Since Public Entity Partners’s Dividends Program was started 23 years ago, we have returned more than $111 million to members, with an average annual dividend of nearly $5 million. It is important to remember that dividends vary from year to year. Each member that was eligible for a dividend this year was notified of the amount by letter over the past few weeks. As the letter stated, we encourage you to reach out to your member services representative to learn more about the Dividends Program, or about any of the other services offered by Public Entity Partners to our members.

We value the work that you do as a public servant and appreciate your membership with Public Entity Partners.

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Recent Developments in Employment Discrimination

By Kristin E. Berexa, attorney, Farrar & Bates, LLP

On March 6, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit handed down a significant employment discrimination decision in EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, 2018 WL 11776689 (6th Cir. 2018).

In R.G. & G.R., the funeral home's owner fired funeral director Aime Stephens after she informed him she intended to begin a gender transition and present herself as a woman at work. In finding gender identity to be covered by Title VII, the Sixth Circuit also upheld the EEOC's claim that the funeral home's dress code, which has different dress and grooming instructions for men and women, discriminates on the basis of sex.

In researching its decision, the court concluded that "it is analytically impossible to fire an employee based on that employee's status as a transgender person without being motivated, at least in part, by the employee's sex." As the court explained, "Discrimination on the basis of transgender and transitioning status is necessarily discrimination on the basis of sex." Finding that Stephens would not have been fired if she had been a woman who sought to comply with the women's dress code, the court determined that Stephens's sex impermissibly affected the termination.

Three weeks ago, another significant decision was handed down by the Second Circuit in Zarda v. Altitude Express, 883 F.3d 100 (2nd Cir. 2018), holding that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is discrimination based on sex and prohibited by Title VII.

As federal courts begin to reexamine earlier rulings that deny coverage to LGBT employees, insureds should begin to reexamine their policies regarding discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

In August, Ross V. Smith, attorney at Farrar & Bates,LLP, will speak on “The Evolution of Workplace Discrimination” at Public Entity Partners’s 3rd Annual Risk & Insurance Symposium. To register for the symposium or view the full agenda, please visit:

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TOSHA’s List of Most Frequently Cited Standards

Each year, TOSHA publishes a list of the 20 most frequently cited standards following worksite inspections, and recently released its list for 2017. As you work to improve your safety program and encourage your employees to address recognized hazards, please keep these standards in mind.

To view all 20 of the most frequently cited TOSHA standards of 2017, click here.

For several years, the Hazard Communication and Electrical - General standards have been at the top of the list of most frequently cited standards.

Many local governments deal with hazardous chemicals on a daily basis. Proper labeling, including relevant pictograms and safety data sheets, along with training on how to appropriately handle, use and dispose of these hazardous chemicals, is not just good safety — it is a TOSHA requirement. Your entity should have a written hazard communication program at every site where chemicals are housed, and everyone who comes into contact with these chemicals should be aware of these requirements.

The general electrical standard is the second most frequently cited standard of 2017. This standard is important for preventing electric shocks from such potential hazards as storing your electrical tools on the work space where you operate them to not following proper procedures when using equipment.

If you are trying to get started with addressing these issues, consider taking advantage of the training resources that are offered by Public Entity Partners. Our DVD library includes seven titles on hazardous communication and 10 titles on electrical topics, including Lockout/Tagout. Public Entity Partners’s Local Government Risk Academy online training portal also provides training for Global SDS and the Hazardous Communication Standard, as well as Lockout/Tagout. To access the DVD request form, view the list of DVD library topics, or login to Local Government Risk Academy, click here.

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Tennessee Trivia

Q: Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for people who died while serving in our country’s armed forces. How many federal and state veteran cemeteries are located within Tennessee?

A. According to the Veterans Administration, there are five cemeteries maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs and five cemeteries established as state veteran cemeteries.