Tennessee Leave Laws




Vacation Leave

In Tennessee, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. TN Code 50-2-103(3). If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. TN Code 50-2-103(3), TN Atty Gen. Opinion No. 06-169.

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment. TN Atty Gen. Opinion No. 06-169.



An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year. TN Atty Gen. Opinion No. 06-169.

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. See TN Atty Gen. Opinion No. 06-169.

An employer is not required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter. TN Atty Gen. Opinion No. 06-169.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time. See TN Atty Gen. Opinion No. 06-169.

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it. See TN Atty Gen. Opinion No. 06-169.



Sick Leave

Tennessee law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. TN Dept. of Labor FAQs. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in Tennessee may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.



Holiday Leave

Tennessee law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. TN Dept. of Labor FAQs In Tennessee, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays. A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 1½ times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

State holidays

Visit our Tennessee State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of Tennessee as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.



Jury Duty Leave

An employer who employs five (5) or more employees must pay employees for time spent serving jury duty, except employees who are employed on a temporary basis of less than six (6) months. An employer may deduct from the wages any fees received by the employee for serving on the jury.

An employer must grant an employee an excused absence for jury service if the employee shows the jury summons to the employer on the next workday after receiving the summons, so long as the employee’s jury service last more than three (3) hours on the days of service. An employer may not discharge or in any manner discriminate against an employee for serving jury duty if such employee, prior to taking time off, gives the required notice.

If an employee summoned for jury duty is working a night shift or is working during hours preceding those in which court is normally held, the employee must be excused from work for the shift immediately preceding the employee’s first day of service. After the first day of service, when the employee’s responsibility for jury duty exceeds three (3) hours during a day, the employee must be excused from the employee’s next scheduled work period occurring within twenty-four (24) hours of the day of jury service.

Tennessee Stat. 22-4-106



Voting Leave

Tennessee law requires employers to provide employees with a reasonable amount of paid time off to vote up to three (3) hours. To be eligible, an employee:

  • must not have three (3) or more hours before their shift begins or after their shift ends in which to vote while polls are open, and
  • request the paid voting leave by twelve o’clock (12:00) noon on the day prior to the vote or election.

TN Stat. 2-1-106



Bereavement Leave

Tennessee law does not require employers to provide employee bereavement leave. Bereavement leave is leave that is taken by an employee due to the death of another individual, usually a close relative. Employer may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice it maintains.