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Tennessee Employment Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Civil Rights for Tennessee on
Q: A customer used a racial slur, my friend politely told her it made her uncomfortable. The company fired my friend.

The customer complained to management who then fired my friend. The incident was not on company premises and my friend up to that point had been a highly valued employee. She was one of only three they kept on after bringing back everyone from furlough. My question is: is this actionable? Are they... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Oct 20, 2020

Generally speaking, in at-will employment states, employees can be terminated for any reason or for no reason at all. However, an exception to this rule exists if the employee is terminated for a discriminatory reason. For example, if other employees WITHIN the company have treated your friend... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: Is my employer obligated to pay me over-time?

I live in Tennessee and work for a medium sized business based in Illinois. My job involves traveling to clients and performing monthly servicing of equipment. I have no managerial responsibilities, no direct reports, and no sales responsibilities. Also, no special skills are required to do my... Read more »

Kyle Anderson
Kyle Anderson answered on Sep 16, 2020

A lot more facts are needed to analyze whether or not you should be classified as exempt. However, your situation does sound similar to cases we have handled in the past. There is an issue with the amount of money you are making that broadens the argument for your employer. If you are improperly... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: I have questions I would like to remain anonymous throughout until I know what to do. I have been mislead by my employer

Several (almost all) employees and I have been falsely promised pay raises, overtime, job security, and working in construction, a lot of personal tools (thousands of dollars worth) are seemingly disappearing. Today we were given our checks (short due to false promises and lies) and told not to... Read more »

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Sep 15, 2020

Find an employment lawyer near you to discuss these issues. Consultations are covered by the attorney-client privilege so you would not need to be worried about counsel knowing your identity. But much more information would be needed to determine what, if anything, can be done for you.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Personal Injury for Tennessee on
Q: Do I have a case to claim relocation expenses and stress of relocating family with 2 disabled kids?

I was given an offer letter with relo bonus and told to relocate asap. Sent a new laptop and announced as a new hire to my team. After moving and less than a week before my start date, I inquired about my pending background check. then the company started moving my start date back (twice). Once the... Read more »

Mr. James Charles Wright
Mr. James Charles Wright answered on Sep 10, 2020

Tennessee is an at-will employment state - but if you have an offer letter where the company agreed to pay for certain items and you were told to move as part of this you may be entitled to recover for the relocation expenses.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: I need a lawyer for my denial of unemployment . This company fire me while I was in the hospital for major surgery.
Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer answered on Sep 2, 2020

You should reach out to an employment attorney in your area to discuss the details of your situation. Depending on the size of your employer, the length of your employment, and the reason for surgery, you may have qualified for protected medical leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. You may... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: If I work 2 full time jobs (no conflict of interest), can I overlap maternity leave from both of them?

Individually, I qualify for a full leave from each. I just don’t know if it’s allowed to use from 2 full time jobs.

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Sep 2, 2020

There aren't any federal laws that govern or regulate maternity leave, so this sounds like something you will need to work out with both employers individually. If you qualify for the maternity leave you will need for both companies, and each company is aware that you work another job, then... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: Is there a time limit to seek professional help? Can something be done about a supervisor lying to you?

My supervisor has stated certain things, and then changed it up multiple times after i arrived to my job. Also, ive been covering a second person job multiple times with no extra pay when they have certain people that are fill ins that make more pay for that. Also, they keep over charging me for... Read more »

Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer answered on Aug 19, 2020

More information is needed to answer your question. Generally, your supervisor can ask you to complete tasks outside of your typical job duties without paying you at a higher hourly rate for completing those tasks. Is your employer still taking deductions from your pay after you opted out of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Tennessee on
Q: Is it illegal for an employer to fire an employee after the employer does a background check and discover's a felony

Charge that did not lead to conviction clearly a mistake of stolen identity charges were dropped no conviction

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Aug 19, 2020

Not illegal as TN is an employment at will State. But you should have expunged that Charge long ago. Hire an attorney to get rid of it or it will come up again.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can I use for unpaid wages?

Ive just got out of the military and I've recently started working for a person who offered to pay me x amount of dollars per hour to work on their rundown hotel. Most of their workers work for a free room and on drugs. It's been almost 3 weeks and when I asked about getting paid, the... Read more »

Kyle Anderson
Kyle Anderson answered on Aug 5, 2020

Hi. More facts are needed to fully analyze your situation - I think there is an independent contractor v. employee issue here. If you are considered an employee of the hotel, you could sue under federal and state law for unpaid minimum wages for the work you performed. The remedy if you are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: My boss has recently implemented a policy that deducts from my pay if extra costs occur to the business if I call out

Policy is supposedly based off an old one but was amended last Thursday and applied retroactively. I am a commission based W2. I have asked for the old policy numerous times and have been avoided but still charged for days prior to this new policies implementation. It is not in any of my contracts... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jul 31, 2020

It isn't legal in California, but you are in TN and y'all have different ways and laws there. You should check with an employment attorney in your local area that handles Employee Rights and Wage and Hour claims.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Employment Discrimination and Health Care Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can my manager comment on my mental health issues?

I work at a retail store as a pharmacy technician. I have ADHD, anxiety, and depression. I take medication for all of these conditions, and for the most part, I feel they’re under control and that I do my job reasonably well. I’ve always been pretty upfront about my struggles, so they're... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Jul 11, 2020

I'm sorry for your ordeal and that your post remains open for five weeks. At this point, you could consider reaching out to Tennessee employment attorneys to discuss your matter in confidence. The format here is brief general questions, and your description seems more complex than something... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: How much is an employer in Tennessee required to compensate mileage for business travel using personal vehicle?
Mr. James Charles Wright
Mr. James Charles Wright answered on Jun 30, 2020

You should talk to an accountant- It is my understanding Federal and Tennessee law does not require an employer to pay mileage unless as a result an hourly employee will drop below the minimum wage. A good guide is the IRS guideline on the mileage rate that can be checked on the IRS website.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: Fired During COVID?

I’m in TN, things are opening here but unfortunately for me, daycares are not. For the time being, we are working from home and I also have a 2 and 4 y/o here w/ me so it makes it hard for me to work, it’s actually brung my performance measures down because I have to deal w/ them so much. I... Read more »

Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer answered on Jun 3, 2020

You may be entitled to protection under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act. Under this provision - with some exceptions - employers with less than 500 employees are required to provide job-protected leave for employees who are unable to work or unable to do their work from home... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: Is this considered employment discrimination?

I have worked at a job for a year and a half. My mother has also worked there for around the same time (joined her team on a retail freight team) she was manager over that area. She was promoted to store manager in which I kept working in freight. I was recently told that it was a conflict of... Read more »

Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer answered on May 20, 2020

While it may be unfair, what you have described is not unlawful employment discrimination. Additionally, you do not have the right to a separation notice.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Education Law for Tennessee on
Q: Is a teacher contract non-renewal considered an involuntary termination?

I fulfilled the duties of my 2019-2020 teacher contract. However, I was informed that my contract would not be renewed for 2020-2021. I am filling out applications, and they are asking if I have ever been involuntarily terminated. Do I choose yes or no?

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on May 18, 2020

I have not reviewed the specific form you are asking about. The form may include a definitions section that would help in answering this question. If you are requesting specific legal advice, you should consider consulting with an attorney.

In general I see termination as a word equivalent...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: What should I do if my employer is changing my timesheet?

During this Covid situation, I and the GM are the only two running our store. He broke his leg and has barely worked. I have pulled doubles for the last two weeks. As of Thursday, I had 16 hours of overtime. The GM has had me clock him in on 3 separate occasions but he was always clocked out after... Read more »

Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer answered on Apr 22, 2020

You should file a written report with the Human Resources department and/or your GM's supervisor. Make sure you are keeping a written record of all hours you have worked. If you are a non-exempt, hourly paid employee, then you are entitled to be paid at a rate of one and one-half times your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Tax Law, Business Law and Social Security for Tennessee on
Q: How to get SSA withholding that my now deceased employer failed to send to SSA?

My employer failed to send SSA withholding to SSA for many years. All employees' SSA statements show $0 for those years. She passed away last year and her family closed that business entity and reopened with a new name, retaining all employees. The new company has paid SSA as required. The... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Apr 15, 2020

Generic legal advice to all humans being asked to sign anything important--ever: Before signing any document that in an y way raises concerns about the possible affect of that document you should ALWAYS send a copy of the document to your family lawyer and ask them to flyspeck it and advise you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can my employer refuse to allow my return to work until he sees my medical test results (i.e. flu test, strep test, etc)

I was sick and out of work for two weeks. I have a doctor’s note, which says I was seen and I needed to be out of work from such and such dates. It says that I will be able to return to work on the 9th. My boss/HR is refusing to accept my note because they want proof of what tests were preformed... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Apr 6, 2020

Yes. Unless you have a contract, Tennessee is an employment at will State.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: Is this racial harassment or just a dumb comment?

My wife is an accountant at a firm in Nashville. My wife is the only black person in her office. One day a coworker of hers made the comment "the KKK wasn't that bad." Completely out of the blue. It obviously upset her but she didn't make a scene. Later that night she texted one... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Feb 26, 2020

If you'd like to pursue something here, your best bet would be a hostile work environment claim based on race. However, establishing such a claim requires proof that the racially discriminatory comments your wife experienced were both severe (in terms of what was said), and pervasive (meaning... Read more »

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