Tennessee Overtime and Meal & Rest Break Laws for Nurses

Tennessee has not enacted any legislation on the state level to address overtime laws as applied to employers. In any situation in which a state legislature has not enacted laws to cover important labor or employment issues, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) steps in to provide citizens with labor guidelines. Since Tennessee has not provided clear rules, the Act’s requirements of mandatory overtime for workers clocking greater than 40 hours in one workweek will control. Employers are not required to pay mandatory overtime to workers who clock greater than eight hours in one day as long as the weekly total does not surpass 40. The workweek typically begins on a Monday and spans seven consecutive days however an employer is permitted to re-define the workweek to begin on any day he or she chooses- as long as the defined workweek remains consistent.

Under Tennessee Code Annotated sections 50-2-201(h) and 50-1-305, employers are required to provide a 30-minute mean or rest break for employees scheduled to work six consecutive hours or more. This provision applies to any employer or business with five or more employees. Employees are not entitled to mandatory rest or meal breaks if the nature of the employment provides ample time for breaks throughout the work day.

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