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Terms of Employment: Tennessee

Terms of Employment requirements for other states

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

Author: Christine P. Corrigan, CPC Writing Services


  • The Tennessee Human Rights Act and the Tennessee Disability Act prohibit discrimination based on age (40 and over), race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, and disability. See Tennessee Human Rights Act and Tennessee Disability Act.
  • Tennessee law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on union membership or lack thereof. See Free Association Protection.
  • Tennessee law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees for serving on a jury. See Jury Duty Leave Protection.
  • Under Tennessee law, in the absence of a written employment agreement, employment is at-will. See Employment At-Will.
  • Tennessee law will enforce oral contracts of employment if the terms are sufficiently definite. See Oral Contracts.
  • Under Tennessee law, employee handbooks or policy manuals can become part of an employment contract. See Employee Handbooks and Policy Manuals.
  • Although the Tennessee Supreme Court has not ruled on the issue, other courts in Tennessee have declined to recognize a claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in employment relationships. See Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing.
  • Tennessee courts will enforce restrictive covenants that are reasonable under the particular circumstances. See Restrictive Covenants.
  • Tennessee has adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act with some modifications. See Trade Secrets.