Tennessee Employment Law
It's common for a worker to feel powerless against the whims of an employer. In an at-will employment state like Tennessee, you may feel like your employer has taken your job hostage—if you don't do as they say, you could end up with a lighter paycheck or jobless. Tennessee's employment laws ensure that workers are never this powerless against employers.
Employment law covers a multitude of topics, including worker's compensation, workplace discrimination, vacation and overtime, unemployment benefits and more. Your employment dispute is often affected by federal, state and local laws simultaneously. Tennessee employment law attorneys are experienced with the delicacy and complexity of work-related cases and can help protect your rights.
Common Tennessee Employment Law Issues
Workplace discrimination and harassment is a common problem in Tennessee especially in light of modern civil rights movements. Examples of workplace discrimination and harassment include:
- A department store doesn't hire a worker to be a greeter because of their physical disability.
- A pregnant woman is let go for requesting or taking maternity leave.
- Coworkers of a company with a largely Christian workforce constantly make demeaning jokes about their Jewish coworker.
Tennessee's human rights statutes protect workers of specific protected classes from workplace discrimination and harassment. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against a worker based on their:
- National origin
Race, age and sex are among the classes that are most commonly discriminated against in Tennessee. Meanwhile, sexual orientation and gender identity are not protected classes under Tennessee law despite a national movement towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. Workplace discrimination and harassment cases involving LGBT workers are complicated in Tennessee courts due to this lack of protection.
Tennessee Minimum Wage
Tennessee doesn't actually have a state minimum wage law. Instead, the state defers to the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour. A bill to establish a state minimum wage and incrementally increase it to $15/hour by 2018 was struck down in 2016.
Tennessee Vacation Laws
Employers are not required to provide employees with either paid or unpaid vacation according to Tennessee law (see Tennessee Code Annotated § 50-2-103). However, if an employer decides to offer a vacation benefit, they are legally obligated to adhere to their vacation policies.
An employer is free to draft and enforce their own vacation policy or contract agreement. Most companies offer a vacation benefit to certain classes of employees. Vacation policy terms like accrual aren't regulated by state law. When an employee quits or is terminated, though, state law requires employers to pay out any accrued vacation pay that is owed.
Get Help from a Tennessee Employment Attorney
If you or a loved one is involved in an employment law dispute, it's in your best interests to consult with an attorney. Employment law is a broad, complicated legal area with federal and state laws at play. An experienced Tennessee employment law attorney can help protect your legal rights.
Get Help from an Experienced Employment Law Attorney
Have you been discriminated against by a potential or current employer -- as a job applicant or current employee? To best protect your legal rights you should discuss your situation with an employment lawyer. Meet with a local employment for employees attorney sooner rather than later to protect your rights.
Additional Employment Law for Employees Articles
- Are There Any Legal Restrictions Against Firing, Suspending Or Disciplining Employees?
- What Is The Whistleblowers Law?
- Are There Exceptions To The Tennessee Employment At Will Law?
- What Is The Americans With Disabilities Act - Ada?
- What Is The Family And Medical Leave Act – Fmla?
- Can An Employee Be Discharged While Out Sick Even Though They Provide A Doctor's Statement?
- How Do I File A Claim For Discriminatory Practices?
- What Is Pregnancy Discrimination?
- What About Last Wages Due Deceased Employee?
- What Are Unauthorized Deductions From A Paycheck?
- What About Overtime And Minimum Wage, For Salaried Employees?
- What If I Have Questions Concerning A Pension Or 401(K) Plan?
- Who Enforces State Labor Laws?
- Does Tennessee Require Labor Laws To Be Posted?
- Does Tdlwd Provide Advice On Garnishments, Tax Levies, Or Other Similar Withholdings From Pay?
- Will Tdlwd Provide Me With Legal Representation Or Advice?
- As An Employer Must I Provide A Former Or Current Employee With A Copy Of My Employment Personnel Files?
- What Is The Law Concerning Payment Of Final Paychecks To Employees?
- Isn't My Employer Required To Provide Breaks And A Meal Period?
- How Often Must My Employer Pay Me?
- My Employer Has Just Told Me He Is Going To Cut My Pay. Can He Do This Without My Approval?
- Can My Employer Hold My Paycheck Until I Return My Uniform, Etc.?
- Can My Employer Withhold The Cost Of My Uniform, Equipment, Company Loans, Shortages And Negligence, Etc. From My Paycheck?
- I Work In The Same Job Classification As A Person Of The Opposite Sex, But I Am Paid Less. Is This Legal?
- If I Complain About Equal Pay, Whose Wages Would Be Adjusted?
- Can An Employer Terminate An Employee For A Claim On Equal Pay?
- Is An Employer Required By Law To Provide Paid Vacation, Holidays, Severance Pay, Sick Pay Or Health Insurance?
- If An Employer's Policy Provides A Paid Vacation And The Employee's Employment Is Terminated, Is The Employer Required To Compensate For Any Vacation Time I Have Accrued But Not Used?
- If An Employee Terminates Voluntarily Or Involuntarily, Does The Employer Have To Pay All Wages Due At The Time Of Termination?
- If The Employer Refuses Payment Of Wages, What Can The Employee Do?
- If An Employee Is Still Employed And The Employer Is Not Paying The Employee Correctly And They File A Wage Claim, Can They Be Terminated?
- Who Determines How Many Hours A Part-Time Employee May Work And How Long May An Employee Be Consider Part-Time?
- My Employer Has Just Told Me That I Am Going To Be Paid By Direct Deposit. Can He Do This?
- My Child Is 15 And Wants To Work. Where Do I Get A Work Permit?
- What Is The Age A Child Can Go To Work? Are There Any Restrictions?
- Are Breaks Required For Minors Under Age 18:
- Are These Restrictions The Same For 16 And 17 Year Olds?
- I Am Working On A State-Funded Prevailing Wage Project? I Am Performing The Duties Of A Carpenter But Not Being Paid The Correct Wages. Can You Help Me?
- Does The Department Of Labor And Workforce Development Make On-Site Inspections?
- Who Sets The Prevailing Wage Rates?
- If A Contractor Has Not Paid The Prevailing Wage Rate, What Can Be Done?
- Who Is Liable For Unemployment Insurance Premiums?
- How Does My Business Register As A New Employer?
- Who Are Employees?
- What Is A Reimbursing Employer (Not-For-Profit And Government Entities)?
- If My Business Has Employees Working In Several States, To Which State(S) Should I Report The Employees?
- How Is My Premium Rate Determined?
- How Does My Business File Quarterly Reports?
- What Is The Definition Of Wages?
- What Are Taxable Wages?
- When Are My Quarterly Reports Due?
- What Is Magnetic Media Reporting?
- How Is My Employer Account Charged For Benefits Paid To My Former Employees?
- If I Have Questions About My Employer Account, Whom Should I Call?
- What Is A Successor Or Same Party Of Interest Successor?
- How Do I Terminate/Cancel My Account?
- How Do My Premiums Paid To Tennessee Affect My Federal Unemployment Tax (Futa)?
- I Am Considering Discharging One Of My Employees. What Information Will I Need To Provide To The Unemployment Office If This Employee Files A Claim For Benefits?
- I Have A Probationary Employee That Is Not Working Out. If I Discharge Him, Will He Be Eligible For Unemployment ?
- I Hired An Individual To Fill-In For Someone. When I No Longer Have Work For The Temporary Employee, Will I Be Charged If He Files For Unemployment Compensation?
- I Told This Employee At The Time Of Hire That This Would Be A Temporary Job. Will He Still Be Eligible For Benefits When The Job Is Completed?
- I Never Employed This Individual, So How Can I Be Charged?
- A Former Employee Has Quit My Employment. When Someone Voluntarily Quits Do I Have Any Liability For Benefit Charges?
- Can Someone Work And Draw Unemployment Benefits?
- Can One Work And Collect Benefits?
- Can I Inquire As To Whether Someone Is Drawing Unemployment Benefits?
- If I Receive An Audit Card Does That Mean The Employee Is Drawing Unemployment?
- How Can I Report Someone Who Is Working And Drawing Unemployment Benefits?
- If My Business Is A Party To A Back Pay Award Is That Award Reportable?
- When An Employee/Applicant Is Drug Tested, Is The Employer Required To Utilize A Medical Review Officer (Mro)?
- How Accurate Are The Drug Testing Methods That I Will Be Required To Use?
- Could There Be Legal Challenges?