Tennessee – Minimum Wage, Overtime, Hours and Leave

Minimum Wage

Tennessee has not established a minimum wage rate.

For more information on Tennessee’s minimum wage laws, visit our Tennessee Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.

Related topic covered on other pages include:


Tennessee labor laws do not have laws governing the payment of overtime. Federal overtime laws apply. See FLSA: Overtime for more information regarding overtime requirements.

Prevailing Wages

Under certain circumstances, employers in Tennessee may be required to pay residents wage rates established by the federal or state prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the state’s standard minimum wage rates. Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on federal or state government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain federal or state government services. See the Tennessee Prevailing Wages, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.

Meals and Breaks

Tennessee labor laws require employers to provide a 30-minute rest period to employees who are scheduled to work six (6) consecutive hours, except in workplace environments where the nature of the business provides for ample opportunity to rest or take an appropriate break. TN Statute 50-2-103(h); TN Dept. of Labor FAQs. Employers are not required by state law to provide any other breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, non-meal breaks, usually of the type lasting less than twenty (20) minutes, must be paid. DOL: Breaks and Meal Periods.

Nursing Mother Breaks

Tennessee labor laws require employers to provide reasonable unpaid break time each day, unles it would unduly disrupt their operations, to employees who are nursing mothers to express breast milk. If possible, the nursing mother breaks shall rune concurrently with other breaks already provided by the employer to the employee.

Employers are required to make reasonable efforts to provide employees who are nursing mothers a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the employees’ work areas.

TN Statute 50-1-305

Vacation Leave

Information about Tennessee vacation leave laws may now be found on our Tennessee Leave Laws page.

Sick Leave

Information about Tennessee sick leave laws may now be found on our Tennessee Leave Laws page.

Holiday Leave

Information about Tennessee holiday leave laws may now be found on our Tennessee Leave Laws page.

Jury Duty Leave

Information about Tennessee jury duty leave laws may now be found on our Tennessee Leave Laws page.

Voting Leave

Information about Tennessee voting leave laws may now be found on our Tennessee Leave Laws page.

Severance Pay

Tennessee labor laws does not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. TN Dept. of Labor FAQs. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.


Under certain circumstances, Tennessee residents may be eligible for unemployment benefits while they search for another job. You are required to certify that you are unemployed on a weekly basis to receive these benefits. See Tennessee State Unemployment Benefits.

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