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What wage and hour laws must employers in Tennessee follow?

Federal and state minimum wages are a hot topic in the news in Tennessee and nationwide. However, if an employer in Jackson pays employees an hourly wage, whether it is the minimum wage or more, they must do so within the confines of the law. If an employee alleges that an employer committed a wage and hour violation, the employer could find itself in legal jeopardy.

First, employers cannot pay their hourly employees less than the minimum wage. Tennessee follows the laws of the federal minimum wage, which as of right now is $7.25 per hour. Tennessee does not have laws on the books mandating an employer pay hourly employees higher than the federal minimum wage.

Tennessee also follows federal law with regards to paying hourly employees overtime. Under federal law, if an hourly employee works more than 40 hours a week, for each hour after that they must be paid a minimum of 1.5 times their normal hourly wage.

In addition, under Tennessee law, employees must be allowed to take a half-hour break without pay if they are working for at least six hours in a row. Under both Tennessee law and federal law, female employees who are nursing a baby are allowed to take breaks for one year from the birth of their child in order to pump breast milk.

These are only a few examples of wage and hour laws in Tennessee that employers must follow; there are others. A violation of employment laws could lead to a lawsuit against the employer. Business litigation can hurt a business's bottom line, negatively affect their reputation and, in the worst of cases, cause them to go out of business entirely. Therefore, it is important for employers to have a solid understanding of their duties under wage and hour laws, so they can comply with them.

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