Tennessee law has few specific provisions regulating payroll deductions. Employers must make deductions from wages as required by law for such things as federal, state, or local income tax withholding, Social Security contributions, and wage garnishments. Employers and employees are free to make additional arrangements for deductions they consider mutually acceptable, provided they comply with federal law related to deductions from wages.
Practice tip. Even though Tennessee has few laws regulating payroll deductions, employers should have written authorization from employees before making deductions from wages for anything other than those deductions required by law.
An employer is not required to honor an assignment of future wages unless the employer agrees to the assignment in writing at the time it is entered into or unless the assignment is ordered by a court to enforce a child support order (TN Stat. Sec. 50-2-105).
Employers may charge up to $5 per month if ordered to pay an income assignment on behalf of an employee. A 5 percent fee to the clerk of the court is allowed for child support cases (TN Stat. Sec. 36-5-501).