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Payment of Wages: Tennessee

Payment of Wages requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Vicki M. Lambert, The Payroll Advisor


  • Employers in Tennessee can pay employees in cash, by check, direct deposit or electronic paycard. Certain requirements must be met before an employer can pay employees by paycard. See Wage Payment Methods.
  • In Tennessee, private employers that have at least five employees must pay wages on regular paydays at least twice a month. See Pay Frequency.
  • With employees' written consent, Tennessee law allows employers to make certain deductions from employees' pay. See Permitted and Prohibited Wage Deductions.
  • In Tennessee, a terminating employee must be paid final wages by the later of the next regular payday or 21 days following the termination. See Termination Pay.
  • After the death of an employee, employers must follow a specific set of rules in order to properly turn over any compensation owed to the deceased employee's estate or survivors. See Deceased Employee Wages.
  • Unclaimed wages are considered abandoned property after one year. Employers must file an annual report of unclaimed wages with the state and notify affected employees. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Unclaimed Wages.