Tennessee Minimum Wage 2022
Benefits Oct 20, 2022
The Tennessee minimum wage is the minimum amount an employee must be paid to be considered a “full-time employee.” This rate is based on an employee’s regular hours of work. Some employees are exempt from overtime requirements, but the FLSA still applies to them. Overtime pay in Tennessee is 1.5 times the regular rate for every hour worked over 40 hours per week.
Unpaid meal or rest period
Employees in Tennessee are legally entitled to a 30-minute unpaid break if they work more than six hours in one day. However, the law also allows employees to take appropriate breaks as needed. An employer who does not provide employees with breaks may be fined up to $500 for each violation. If the violation is willful, the fine can be as high as $1000.
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While the federal Fair Labor Standards Act does not require a mandatory meal or rest period, the Tennessee minimum wage law requires employees to receive a minimum of thirty minutes of rest and recovery time. The same rules apply for tipped employees, but they may have less time during their shift.
Unpaid vacation leave
While Tennessee minimum wage laws do not require employers to offer their employees paid vacation leave, they do require them to state their vacation policy and let their employees know what that means. Tennessee employers may also be required to offer some form of overtime pay for working holidays or overtime hours. Employees who are denied paid vacation time may also be entitled to back pay.
The FLSA applies to most employers in Tennessee, but certain exempt employees are not required to follow FLSA requirements. This includes farmworkers, seasonal employees, and employees in recreational establishments. To find out whether you qualify as an exempt employee, contact the U.S. Department of Labor. Similarly, there are no laws in Tennessee that require employers to give their employees raises. However, the law does not prevent employers from offering raises to employees, and raising wages should be a matter of discussion between you and your employer. You can also formalize your expectations through an employment contract or other written agreement.
Unpaid tip credit
In the United States, the practice of paying tips is common, and many workers earn the majority of their income through tips. This is especially true in the hospitality industry, where hourly wages are often small and heavily supplemented by tips from customers. While the practice of paying tips is not universal across the country, it is common in Tennessee.
Although Tennessee does not have its own tip laws, it is required to follow federal guidelines and pay tipped employees at least $7.25 an hour. In the event, however, an employee is paid less than the federal minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference in tip payments. In the case of the Tennessee minimum wage, this difference is up to $2.13 per hour.
Exemptions from overtime pay
Employees who earn less than the minimum wage in Tennessee are not eligible for overtime pay. However, salaried employees may be eligible for overtime pay if they work more than forty hours per week. Moreover, some of these employees may also be entitled to extra compensation for on-call time. In this way, these employees are entitled to compensation at least equal to the regular rate of pay.
Overtime pay is equal to time and a half for hours worked beyond 40 hours during the week. However, some classes of employees are exempt from overtime pay, including those who work for the same company on a live-in basis. As a result, many salaried workers in Tennessee may be entitled to unpaid overtime payments.
Increases subject to federal minimum wage and consumer price index
The minimum wage in Tennessee has not been raised in nearly ten years. The last increase occurred in 2009 when the minimum wage increased by $1.67 from $5.58 per hour. Meanwhile, the federal minimum wage has not been increased in more than a decade, since 1938. In January, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025, but it has not yet passed the Senate. While these two state laws are progressive in nature, they do not raise the federal minimum wage.
Although the federal minimum wage does not rise anytime soon, it is wise for businesses to follow state and local minimum wage laws so they can offer adequate compensation to employees.