• In the enforcement of this chapter, the commission has the power and duty to:
    • (1) Maintain offices in Shelby County, Davidson County, Knox County and Hamilton County and such other offices within the state as may be deemed necessary;

    • Terms Used In Tennessee Code 4-21-202

      • Commission: means the Tennessee human rights commission. See Tennessee Code 4-21-102
      • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
      • Deposition: An oral statement made before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Such statements are often taken to examine potential witnesses, to obtain discovery, or to be used later in trial.
      • Interrogatories: Written questions asked by one party of an opposing party, who must answer them in writing under oath; a discovery device in a lawsuit.
      • National origin: includes the national origin of an ancestor. See Tennessee Code 4-21-102
      • Oath: includes affirmation. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
      • Person: 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 persons. See Tennessee Code 4-21-102
      • Real property: includes buildings, structures, real estate, lands, tenements, leaseholds, cooperatives, condominiums, and hereditaments, corporeal and incorporeal, or any interest in these. See Tennessee Code 4-21-102
      • Sex: means and refers only to the designation of an individual person as male or female as indicated on the individual's birth certificate. See Tennessee Code 4-21-102
      • State: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
      • written: includes printing, typewriting, engraving, lithography, and any other mode of representing words and letters. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105

      (2) Meet and exercise its powers within the state;

    • (3) Annually appoint an executive director, fix the director’s compensation with the approval of the governor, and delegate any of its functions and duties to the director in the interest of efficient management of the appropriations and resources of the agency;

    • (4) Promote the creation of local commissions on human rights, to cooperate with state, local and other agencies, both public and private, and individuals, and to obtain upon request and utilize the services of all governmental departments and agencies;

    • (5) Enter into cooperative working agreements with local commissions that have enforceable ordinances, orders, or resolutions and professional staff;

    • (6) Cooperate with the federal equal employment opportunity commission created under § 705 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000e-4), and with the department of housing and urban development in enforcing the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq.), in order to achieve the purposes of those acts, and with other federal and local agencies in order to achieve the purposes of this chapter;

    • (7) Accept and disburse gifts and bequests, grants or other payments, public or private, to help finance its activities;

    • (8) Accept reimbursement pursuant to § 709(b) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000e-8), and pursuant to § 816 of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. § 3616), for services rendered to assist the federal equal employment opportunity commission and the department of housing and urban development;

    • (9) Receive, initiate, investigate, seek to conciliate, hold hearings on and pass upon complaints alleging violations of this chapter;

    • (10) Require answers to interrogatories, compel the attendance of witnesses, examine witnesses under oath or affirmation in person by deposition, and require the production of documents relevant to the complaint. The commission may make rules authorizing or designating any member or individual to exercise these powers in the performance of official duties;

    • (11) Furnish technical assistance requested by persons subject to this chapter to further their compliance with this chapter or an order issued thereunder;

    • (12) Make studies appropriate to effectuate the purposes and policies of this chapter and make the results thereof available to the public;

    • (13) Render, in accordance with the rules, regulations, policies and procedures of the state publications committee, a written report. The report may contain recommendations of the commission for legislative or other action to effectuate the purposes and policies of this chapter;

    • (14) Adopt, promulgate, amend and rescind rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes and provisions of this chapter, including regulations requiring the posting of notices prepared or approved by the commission;

    • (15) Cooperate with community, professional, civic and religious organizations, federal agencies and agencies from other states in the development of public information programs, leadership and activities in the interest of equal opportunity and treatment of all individuals;

    • (16)

      • (A) Create local or statewide advisory agencies that in its judgment will aid in effectuating the purposes of this chapter. The commission may empower these agencies to:

        • (i) Study and report on problems of discrimination because of race, creed, color, religion, sex, age or national origin;

        • (ii) Foster through community effort or otherwise, goodwill among the groups and elements of the population of the state; and

        • (iii) Make recommendations to the commission for the development of policies and practices that will aid in carrying out the purposes of this chapter.

      • (B) Members of such advisory agencies shall serve without pay, but shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred in such services. The commission may make provision for technical and clerical assistance to the advisory agencies; and

    • (17) Conduct tests of housing accommodations and availability through the use of staff, both full time and part time, and of volunteers to ascertain the availability of housing, both in sales and also in rentals of real property.