Tennessee Hiring laws & compensation compliance analysis

Tennessee Hiring: What you need to know

Discrimination. The Tennessee Human Rights Act prohibits hiring practices that discriminate based on race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, or national origin, unless the characteristic is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ). The Act applies to all public employers and to private employers with eight or more employees (Tenn. Code § 4-21-101 et seq.). A separate law prohibits discrimination based on mental or physical disability (Tenn. Code § 8-50-103 et seq.). More information is available at the Tennessee Discrimination and https://hr.blr.com/analysis/Discrimination/Disabilities-ADA/Tennessee sections.
Veterans’ preference. A private employer may adopt a policy that gives preference in hiring to veterans, the spouses of disabled veterans, and the unremarried widows or widowers of a veteran who died in service or from a service-related disability (Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-1-107). In public employment, veterans and, in some cases, their spouses are entitled to preference in hiring (Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-30-306).
Criminal history. Under state law, local governments may not prohibit a private employer from requesting any information on an application for employment or during the hiring process (Tenn. Code § 7-51-1802). The law effectively prohibits local governments from implementing ban-the-box laws that affect private employers.
State agencies and other state government employers are prohibited from inquiring about a job applicant’s criminal history on an initial job application form (Tenn. Code § 8-50-112). An employer may inquire about an applicant’s criminal history after the initial screening of applications. If an employer inquires, it must give the applicant an opportunity to provide an ...

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