TENNESSEE EMPLOYMENT LAW
In Tennessee, a number of issues related to the association between an employee and his employer fall under Employment Law (commonly referred to also as Labor Law). These issues include, but are not limited to, employee health and safety, wrongful termination, discrimination at the workplace, hiring and termination practices, sexual harassment, and wages and hours and disability law.
Talking to a Tennessee employment attorney about your employment law case is generally a good idea, especially for complicated cases, such as those involving sexual harassment, discrimination, and wrongful termination. The assistance of a Tennessee employment attorney will greatly increase your chance of successes because, the complexity and tendency of these cases require extensive collection of evidence, fact finding, and legal writing.
Why Hire A Tennessee Employment Attorney?
Because of the inherent interaction between federal and state laws in employment cases and because of the complicated way in which they interact, Tennessee employment cases must be thoroughly investigated and compellingly asserted. If you seek to file a claim with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development for unpaid wages, discrimination, wrongful termination, or if you are unsure whether you have a valid claim or just one that will cost you time and money, you should hire a Tennessee employment lawyer. In particular, if you have a wrongful termination claim against your former employer, a Tennessee employment lawyer can be of great assistance in communicating with your former employer so you do not have to do so, and advising you on how best to deal with the situation, explain your rights and benefits, and obtain recovery.
Wrongful Termination in Tennessee
Employment is “at-will” in Tennessee. Because Tennessee has “at-will employment,” an employer can terminate an employee for any reason or no reason and at any time so long as the reason for the termination is not unlawful. If a worker has an employment contract, however, the employee may only be fired for reasons named in the contract.
“Wrongful termination” is when a worker is fired by their employer on the basis of discriminatory factors. In Tennessee, wrongful termination claims may be filed if a worker’s termination is based on discriminatory or illegal reasons that, in Tennessee, include:
Tennessee state law and federal law forbid termination on the basis of a worker’s disability or age (if he is over 40) if the worker is otherwise qualified for the position. Likewise, if pregnancy is viewed as a disability by the employer, or if the termination is based on sex, race, religion, or national origin, the firing is considered discriminatory and thus, illegal. If you believe you have a complaint against your boss for wrongful termination, it is imperative that you consult a Tennessee wrongful termination lawyer.
Employee Wage/Hour Concerns In Tennessee
The minimum wage required by the federal law is in effect in Tennessee because Tennessee does not have its own state specific minimum wage law. Thus, the minimum wage in Tennessee is $7.25 an hour. If you do not get paid on time or at all, contact a Tennessee employment attorney to file a complaint for unpaid wages with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, as Tennessee procedures on filing these claims can be complicated.
Tennessee does not have a state law regulating overtime pay; however, overtime in Tennessee is regulated by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and imposed by the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. Overtime in Tennessee is any hours an employee works over 40 a week. The FLSA mandates that workers receive time-and-a half pay for the hours they work in excess of 40 hours per week. Claims for unpaid overtime should be submitted directly to the nearest office of the Wage and Hour Division.
Questions about employee wages, or about how and when to file a claim for unpaid wages or overtime should be directed to a Tennessee employment lawyer who will be able to provide you with the best answers.
Tennessee Employment Benefits
In Tennessee, employers may give their employees sick leave, paid vacation days, life insurance and/or medical benefits at their discretion, but are not required by law to do so. Employers are, however, required to provide their employees with meal breaks of 30 minutes for employees who work at least 6 consecutive hours. Shorter rest breaks in addition to the meal break are not mandated by Tennessee state law. Although short-term disability is also not mandated by Tennessee law, the Tennessee Maternity Leave Act does mandate that expectant mothers be given four months of leave for pregnancy. In addition, 12 weeks of maternity leave must be provided under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Tennessee disability law encompasses work-related injuries or occupational illnesses suffered by employees. Employees whose injuries and illnesses are connected to work are compensable depending on the kind of injury and the injury’s classification. It is worth noting that injuries and illnesses in not connected with a worker’s employment are non-compensable under Tennessee disability law.
If you are unsure about which federal and state laws apply to your Tennessee disability law case, contact a Tennessee employment attorney for an explanation of your benefits and rights. Or, if you think you are unsure what benefits you can recover according to Tennessee workers’ compensation law you should seek advice from a Tennessee workers’ compensation lawyer.
Tennessee Employment and Labor Law Statutes