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Tennessee Wage and Hour Investigations: What you need to know

During normal business hours, private employers must make available to Department of Labor and Workforce Development inspectors specific wage and payroll records that are pertinent to a written complaint. Records that are stored in another location must be supplied to the inspectors on a timely basis (TN Code Sec. 50-2-103).
Tennessee’s Wage Regulations Act now requires that employees bring their complaints to the state Department of Labor, rather than initiating a civil court proceeding. Initiating a complaint in a civil court proceeding was previously allowed.
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Payment of wages. Private employers must follow certain wage payment provisions. Violations result in a fine of up to $500 per offense. Willful violations are punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 (TN Code Sec. 50-2-103).
Child labor. The Department has the authority to inspect all employment records for minors at any reasonable time and as often as necessary to make sure the laws are enforced (TN Code Sec. 50-5-110 and Sec. 50-5-111). Employers who violate Tennessee's child labor laws may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 per offense. The amount of the penalty is based on the size of the business and the gravity of the violation. Each day a violation continues after the employer has been notified by the Department of the violation is a separate offense (TN Code Sec. 50-5-112).
Misrepresenting wages. It is a Class C misdemeanor for an employer to misrepresent to a new employee the amount of wages the employee will earn, and the employer must pay a civil penalty of up to $1,000 (TN Code Sec. 50-2-104).
Discrimination. Tennessee law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on ...

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