Tennessee Hiring laws & HR compliance analysis

Tennessee Hiring: What you need to know

The Tennessee Human Rights Act prohibits hiring practices that discriminate on the basis of 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 (TN Code Sec. 4-21-101 et seq.). A separate law prohibits discrimination on the basis of mental or physical disability (TN Code Sec. 8-50-103 et seq.).
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Under the Tennessee Lawful Employment Act, private employers with six or more employees must verify the work authorization of new hires (TN Code Sec. 50-1-701 et seq.). Employers must request and maintain a copy of an approved identification document. The law does not require employers to use the federal E-Verify program, but it does provide a safe harbor for employers that do. All employers with six or more employees must comply.
Tennessee's new hire reporting law requires that all employers report the name, address, Social Security number, and date of hire of each new employee to the state within 20 days of the date of hire (defined as the first day that services are performed for wages). Employers must also report the rehire of any employee who was previously laid off, furloughed, terminated, or placed on leave without pay. Failure to report as required can result in the assessment of fines against the employer (TN Code Sec. 36-5-1101 et seq.).
Details on reporting requirements and filing instructions are available on the website of the Tennessee New Hire Reporting Program at https://newhire-reporting.com/TN-Newhire/default.aspx.
Last reviewed May 2017.

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