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Employee Privacy: Tennessee

Employee Privacy requirements for other states

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

Author: James L. Holt, Jr., Jackson, Shields, Yeiser & Holt

Updating Author: XpertHR Editorial Team


  • The Tennessee Supreme Court has recognized the tort of false light invasion of privacy. See Common Law Tort for Invasion of Privacy.
  • Tennessee law prohibits polygraph examinations relating to employment from inquiring about beliefs regarding religion, opinions on racial matters, and politics, union activities or affiliations, sexual preferences, orientation or behavior, and activities occurring five years prior to examination, except felony or drug convictions. See Polygraph Examinations.
  • Tennessee law provides that any employer responding to a request from a prospective employer who provides truthful, fair and unbiased information about a current or former employee's job performance is presumed to be acting in good faith and is granted qualified immunity for the disclosure and its consequences. See Defamation.
  • Teachers seeking employment with public schools and others seeking employment with state educational institutions that are involved with the care of students are required to disclose their criminal record. Employers engaged in the sale of intoxicating liquors are prohibited from employing persons with convictions involving transportation, possession or manufacture of intoxicating liquor or moral turpitude within past 10 years. See Arrests and Convictions.
  • Tennessee law permits any individual to request and receive a copy of the criminal conviction record of another. See Criminal History Checks.
  • Tennessee law provides a statutory framework allowing employers to voluntarily implement a drug free workplace program. See Drug Testing.
  • Tennessee law addresses wiretapping and electronic surveillance. See Electronic Monitoring.
  • Tennessee law prohibits discharging an employee for off duty tobacco use. See Off Duty Activities.
  • Public employers in Tennessee must provide access to public employee's personnel files. See Personnel Files.
  • Under Tennessee law, insurance providers may not require individuals to disclose genetic information. See Genetic Testing.