Wage And Hour Claim – TN

Filing a Wage and Hour Claim – Tennessee

Does Tennessee have state overtime laws that are different from federal law?

Tennessee state law does not prescribe any minimum wage. For that reason, only the federal overtime requirements apply in the state.

Does Tennessee have a minimum wage that is different from federal law?

Tennessee state law does not prescribe any minimum wage. The federal minimum wage of $7.25 applies in Tennessee.

Does Tennessee have meal and rest break requirements, unlike federal law?

Unlike federal law, Tennessee does require meal breaks. Every employee in a non-government business with five or more employees is entitled to a 30-minute unpaid rest break or meal break if scheduled to work six hours consecutively, unless the nature of the business provides for ample opportunity to rest or take an appropriate break. The break must happen after the first scheduled hour of work. Minors (under 18) must be provided this rest or meal break regardless of the nature of the business.

How do I file a wage/hour or labor standards claim in Tennessee?

If your employer owes you wages, you can file a claim with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Division of Labor Standards. The Division will attempt to assist you in resolving the issue with your employer; if they are unable to help, they will refer you to court. Contact the Division (information is included below) to file a wage claim.

What are my time deadlines?

Do not delay in contacting the Division of Labor Standards to file a claim. There are strict time limits in which charges of wage-and-hour violations must be filed. While there is no specific time deadline for filing a claim with the Division, there is a general statute of limitations of one year in Tennessee. However, as you might have other legal claims with shorter deadlines, do not wait to file your claim. You may wish to consult with an attorney prior to filing your claim, if possible. Yet if you are unable to find an attorney who will assist you, it is not necessary to have an attorney to file your claim with the Division.

How can I or my attorney pursue a claim in court in Tennessee?

Instead of filing a wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards, you may also be able to file a claim in state court. You should consult with an attorney about this possibility.


Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
220 French Landing Drive
Nashville, TN 37243-0655
Division of Labor Standards
Ph: 615-741-2551
[email protected]

This material was originally prepared by attorney Joseph Jaramillo and former law clerks Keia Cole and Adam Weiss of the law firm Goldstein, Demchak Baller Borgen and Dardarian, and was updated by Professor Douglas D. Scherer, of Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. Professor Scherer also serves as the Vice President of Workplace Fairness.

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