Updated January 6, 2021
Tennessee has no minimum wage law. That means eligible employees in Tennessee are entitled to either federal minimum wage (currently $7.25 per hour) or any local (city or county) minimum wage law that is on the books, whichever wage rate is higher.
Because Tennessee has no minimum wage law, Tennessee employees who earn tips are covered by the FLSA rules on tip credits and minimum wages for tipped employees.
(For more information, see Nolo's article Tips, Tip Pooling, and Tip Credits.)
Tennessee has no overtime laws, although you may be eligible for overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. To learn more, see Nolo's article Overtime Pay: Your Rights as an Employee and contact the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Yes. Employees in Tennessee are entitled to a meal break of 30 minutes, unpaid, for employees scheduled to work six consecutive hours or more, unless the work is such that there is ample time for breaks throughout the day.
To learn more about wage and hour laws in Tennessee, contact the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Wage and hour laws set the basic standards for pay and time worked -- covering issues like minimum wage, tips, overtime, meal and rest breaks, what counts as time worked, when you must be paid, things your employer must pay for, and so on.
The federal wage and hour law is called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Most states also have their own wage and hour laws, and some local governments (like cities and counties) do, too. An employer who is subject to more than one law must follow the law that is most generous to the employee. For example, the federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour, but employers in states that have set a higher minimum wage must pay the higher amount.
To locate an employment law attorney in your area, visit Nolo's Lawyer Directory, where you can view information about each lawyer's experience, education, fees, and, perhaps most importantly, the lawyer's general philosophy of practicing law. By using Nolo's directory, you can narrow down candidates before calling them for a phone or face-to-face interview.