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Tennessee Employment Law Questions & Answers
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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Agricultural Law for Tennessee on
Q: I was let go today and sold a service that was complete, but not paid for yet. Am I still eligible for the commission?

We aren't paid out our commissions until the client pays. I was not terminated for poor job performance, and I completed most of this particular job myself before I was terminated.

Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq.
Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq. answered on Jan 16, 2020

If you have a contract, then you should have a breach of contract action.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: employer not paying

i work a job where i make only commission, i get paid to pull snack items and only get paid to do that. the delivery drivers sometimes brings back all the items i pulled and im forced to put up the items without pay and it takes hours to put up. is it legal for them not to pay me for the work i do?

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Jan 14, 2020

This may very well be illegal but more facts are necessary. An employer may not misclassify an employee as an independent contractor to dodge paying taxes, social security, and unemployment insurance. You should consider speaking with a local employment attorney to determine your options.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Libel & Slander and Sexual Harassment for Tennessee on
Q: My boss is aware that a customer sexually harasses his staff & doesnt care. Can I post that on fb w/ his name w/out gett

ing sued?

Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer answered on Dec 31, 2019

You should consult with an attorney who practices employment law in Tennessee prior to posting anything about your boss or his business on Facebook, even if you don't explicitly identify him or the company by name. Defamation laws are state-specific. An employment attorney will be able to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can a former employer use a former employee's photograph on their social media page against the employee's consent?
Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq.
Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq. answered on Oct 25, 2019

That is a good question. The answer regarding whether Facebook pages can be admissible evidence is in debate. In Massachusetts, a court unamimounsly decided that they could. I have not seen a decision down here. As a criminal defense attorney, the problem, in my mind, is that you cannot state... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: My employer sent me an email telling me to report to a different office for my "new role" without any discussion

Is this legal? They're was no discussion or paperwork, it would be a supervisor role without title change or pay change. There was never a discussion

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Oct 22, 2019

Unless you have an employment contract or government regulated job, the tasking communication to you can take any form. This is an employment at will State, and you can be terminated for any or no reason.

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can a charge that was withheld adjudication be seen as a conviction on a employment background check

The charges where in Florida I live in Tennessee now. I have disclosed it on my application but was wondering do I have to and how it shows on a background check ? The judge withheld adjudication I plead no contest if that’s the proper saying and the judge with held adjudication in the case

Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq.
Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq. answered on Oct 19, 2019

What do you mean by "withheld adjudication"? Generally, only convictions and pleas (which are convictions) show up as convictions.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Business Formation, Business Law and Intellectual Property for Tennessee on
Q: Deformation, lost wages, emotional distress. Investor for start up. Wanted 40% after 3mo in. Can I sue!

Contracts with local clients- established. Investor wanted to deposit “monies” from unknown sources into business account. I am a Lease holder and investor has put myself and the employees out. Investor has made slanderous comments to members of the business community. I have lost all wages,... Read more »

Frank J. Steiner
Frank J. Steiner answered on Aug 19, 2019

Based on the facts provided you may have a claim for tortious interference with business relationship.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can I be fired from healthcare job if I have a pending felony and been suspended already
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Aug 15, 2019

Unless you have a Contract or an Employee Handbook saying otherwise, yes you can be fired for any reason in Tennessee. This is an employment at will State. And being charged with a Felony often generates job loss. I recommend finding another job while you fight the Indictment. Being charged... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: My employer is offering something to one employee and not the other. Is that legal?

I had to wait two years to start a retirement account. An employee that has been here four months is eligible for the retirement plan, but another employee who has been here eight months has not even been asked to participate in the plan.

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Aug 12, 2019

One would need a lot more information to determine an answer. Does the employee have a contract? Employment handbook? Perhaps there's an opt-in period? Consult a local employment attorney.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: Is my non compete clause enforceable?

Non compete clause (Nashville) States I can't work within 55 miles for 1 year after quiting my job as a tattoo artist because we have "trade secrets" however, if I am an unlicensed artist for one year I am no longer able to get licensed to be an artist and I would have to completely... Read more »

Mr. James Charles Wright
Mr. James Charles Wright answered on Aug 12, 2019

I think the answer, unfortunately is "it depends." The issue is whether the non-compete is reasonable. fifty-five miles appears at first blush to be a reasonable distance to keep a tattoo artist from setting up shop "next door" and competing against the employer. But it may... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Tennessee on
Q: What do I do about a company that is refusing to let me off with a doctor statement I was injured on the job

I work for praxis in Savannah Tennessee I got hurt on the job with a chemical that got in my eye. I went to there doctor they really didn’t tell me what was going on other than you will b fine. I went to the Er and the doctor at the Er put me off for the rest of the week. I gave the company the... Read more »

Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq.
Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq. answered on Aug 1, 2019

There seem to be a few options. First, I would look at the workers' compensation law angle. Generally speaking, pursuant to T.C.A. Section 50-6-204, you have thirty (30) days to turn in a workers' compensation injury to your employer. If the thirty (30) days have not passed, then turn... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: Are there any rules regarding what documents a private employer is required to give a former employee?
Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 24, 2019

Yes, in Tennessee, an employer should give an employee a separation notice when the employee no longer works for the employer. Find the TN DOL website and you can read more about those issues. Good luck.

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