Knowledge — 3 months ago

Tennessee Employment Law Explained in Full

by Toni S.

Tennessee Employment Law, Tennessee Employment Laws

Employment Laws: What are Employment Laws in Tennessee?

The Laws in Tennessee are in place to help and protect their employees to stay safe and stay above board. There are some labor laws that are either specified by the state or federally mandated and regulated.

Here are some of the standard employment laws here:

Tennessee Minimum Wage Laws

The Employers in Tennessee are required to abide by the minimum wage law that is federally mandated as no different state minimum wage is higher. At the moment the minimum wage specified by the FBI is $7.25 per hour. On the other hand, any employee that also earns tips as a part of their regular pay can be paid a lower minimum of $2.13 per hour. In cases where the employees are not able to bring their tips up to $7.25 per hour, the employer would need to make up the difference between the two. 

Meal and Break Laws in Tennessee

The Federal Law does not necessarily require employers to offer a rest break to their employers. However, if an employee is allowed a short break during the day to rest these breaks need to be paid for. A short break is a five to 20-minute break.

Tennessee Employment Law

The Tennessee Laws require that a majority of employers in Tennessee offer a meal break to their employers. These breaks are not necessarily paid unless an employee is required to work through it. The employees are not required to leave their workplace, but they are needed to be relieved of all work at this time. The meal break should last for a minimum of 30 minutes. A meal break is necessary for an employee that is working for 6 hours in a row. 

An employee working in a food or beverage position may be able to waive their meal break if the proper steps are taken. However, it is against the law for an employer to coerce their employee into waiving this break. 


Along with these breaks, there are both states as well as federal laws that require employees to give a breastfeeding mother adequate breaks to express their breast milk during the first year of the baby’s life.

Overtime Laws in Tennessee
Although at the moment there are no specific laws of overtime in Tennessee, the federal regulations state that any time over the mandated 40 hours a week is subject to one and a half times the employees' regular pay.

Tennessee Employment Laws

Child Labor Laws in Tennessee
Children are legally allowed to work in Tennessee after the age of 14 hours. However, the number of hours they work in a day is up to 3 hours or 18 hours a week. During the school year, they are not allowed to work later than 7 pm. During the summer a teenager is allowed to work for up to 8 hours a day with a maximum of 40 per week with an end time of 9 pm. The hour restrictions are removed once the child turns 16 however they are not allowed to work later than 10 pm without their parents' permission. 

Leave Laws in Tennessee
Employers in Tennessee are required to offer their employee paid as well as unpaid vacation time. They are not required to provide any kind of paid sick leave to the employees.

Employers need to abide by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act that allows an eligible employee to have a total of 12 weeks per year unpaid medical leave to take care of themselves or a family member. Along with this Tennessee also allows the employees to take up to four months of unpaid leave.

Employers are also required to allow their employees to have paid time off in cases where they are required to report for their jury duty. It is also a part of the Tennessee labor laws to give an employee up to three hours of paid time off work to vote.

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