Tennessee Hiring laws & HR compliance analysis

Tennessee Hiring: What you need to know

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 (TN Code Sec. 4-21-101 et seq.). A separate law prohibits discrimination based on mental or physical disability (TN Code Sec. 8-50-103 et seq.).
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Tennessee's Polygraph Examiners Act mandates that polygraph examinations given for employment purposes must include certain individual protections (TN Code Sec. 62-27-101 et seq.). The Act also prohibits employers from basing any personnel decision solely on the results of a polygraph examination (TN Code Sec. 62-27-128).
Under the Tennessee Lawful Employment Act, public employers and private employers with six or more employees must obtain employment verification information (TN Code Sec. 50-1-701 et seq.). Employers may verify employment eligibility of all newly hired employees through the federal E-Verify program or, where permissible, request that all newly hired employees and “nonemployees” provide certain identity and employment authorization documents.
Ban the box. State agencies and other state government employers are prohibited from inquiring about a job applicant’s criminal history on an initial job application form (TN Stat. Sec. 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 explanation of his or her criminal ...

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