When you have or plan to hire employees in Tennessee, an employee handbook can help introduce them to the company, provide resources for their success, set expectations, and explain important company policies. However, Tennessee employee handbook requirements need to be specifically tailored to the state’s employment laws.

Employers aren’t required to have an employee handbook, but without one—or if you fail to tailor it to each state’s specific laws—you could leave your organization open to significant liability. Fortunately, SixFifty’s Employment Docs platform makes it efficient and cost-effective to create state-specific employee handbooks, wherever your employees live and work.

Here’s what you need to know about Tennessee employee handbooks.

Tennessee employee handbook required policies

Every state has different employment laws, and Tennessee is no exception. In addition to federally required notices, Tennessee employee handbooks must include the following policies:

  • Meal and Rest Breaks Policy
  • Pregnancy Leave Policy (for companies with more than 100 employees at a workplace)
  • Volunteer Firefighter Leave Policy
  • Voting Leave Policy
  • Whistleblower policy

When drafting your Tennessee employee handbook, you’ll need to research these employment laws and make sure the text of your policy complies with the law.

Optional Tennessee employee handbook policies

In addition to required state and federal policies, you can include optional employee handbook policies. Whether you include these often depends on your company type, employment type, industry, and company structure. Optional employee handbook policies may include:

  • Affinity Group Policy
  • Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy
  • Arbitration Policy
  • At-Will Employment Policy
  • Background Check Policy
  • Business Expense Policy
  • Cell Phone Policy
  • COBRA Policy
  • Code of Conduct Policy
  • Company Property Policy
  • Confidentiality and Trade Secrets Policy
  • Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Desk Hoteling Policy
  • Direct Deposit Policy
  • Dress Code Policy
  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy
  • Electronic Devices While Driving Policy
  • Employee Benefits Policy
  • Employee Classification Policy
  • Employee Dating Policy
  • Employee References Policy
  • Employee Referral Policy
  • Employment of Relatives Policy
  • Exit Interview Policy
  • Gifts Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Holidays
  • Home Office Reimbursement Policy
  • Internal Pay Transparency Policy
  • Immigration Law Compliance
  • Job Duties Policy
  • Key or Access Card Policy
  • Lactation Accommodation Policy
  • Leave Policies, including:
    • Paid Sick Leave
    • Bereavement Leave
    • Organ, Bone Marrow, and Blood Donor Leave
    • Domestic Violence Leave
    • Crime Victim Leave
    • Witness Duty Leave
    • School Activity Leave
  • Marijuana Policy
  • Off-Duty Use of Facilities
  • Outside Employment Policy
  • Overtime Policy
  • Payment of Wages Policy
  • Payroll Deductions Policy
  • Performance Review Policy
  • Permanent/Temporary Relocation Policy
  • Personnel Files Policy
  • Pets in the Workplace Policy
  • Progressive Discipline Policy
  • Protected Activity Policy
  • Public Relations Policy
  • Punctuality and Attendance Policy
  • Record Retention Policy
  • Religious Accommodations Policy
  • Remote Working Policy
  • Salary Pay Policy
  • Smoking Policy
  • Social Media Policy
  • Solicitation and Distribution of Literature Policy
  • Technology Systems Policy
  • Termination of Employment Policy
  • Timekeeping Policy
  • Vacation/Paid Time Off
  • Video Conferencing Policy
  • Weapons in the Workplace Policy
  • Workers’ Compensation Policy
  • Workplace Violence Policy
  • Workplace Visitor Policy
  • Workweek and Work Schedules Policy

As long as these policies do not contradict any required state and federal policies, you’re free to add as many or as few of these policies as you prefer.

Required federal employee handbook policies

Finally, there are required federal employee handbook policies. Again, while the federal government does not require employers to create handbooks, if you choose to do so, you’ll need to include the following federal policies:

  • Equal Employment and Anti-Discrimination Policy
  • Americans with Disabilities Act Policy 
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy (for companies with more than 50 employees)
  • Jury Duty Leave
  • Military Service Leave
  • Sexual Harassment Policy

Federally required employee handbook policies don’t change from state to state, since federal law supersedes state law. All employee handbooks should contain all of these policies (assuming the organization meets the 50-employee requirement for FMLA).

How to create a Tennessee employee handbook

As you can see, researching and drafting a compliant Tennessee employee handbook can be challenging, even if you’re only including the minimum required policies. It can also be risky. If your policies run afoul of federal or state employment laws, you could leave your company open to significant legal risk.

There are a few options to ensure that your employee handbook is compliant. First, you can hire an attorney or ask your legal department to draft the handbook—but if you’re hiring employees in multiple states, the time and cost start adding up quickly.

Some companies use online templates or copy-and-paste from existing employee handbooks. That’s also risky, since there’s no guarantee that an online template will include all the state-specific policies and language you need, and copying another handbook could be a copyright violation.

Instead of racking up billable hours or devoting your own company time to researching state-specific employment laws, let SixFifty do the heavy lifting for you. SixFifty’s employee handbook creator platform has been designed to guide employers through every stage of employment, from offer letters to separation. You can easily create top-tier employment documents like Tennessee employee handbooks in a cost-effective way. Plus, our legal team keeps a close eye on changes to employment legislation nationwide. You’ll be notified if there are any new changes so you can regenerate and redistribute your handbooks as needed.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo today!

Looking to create an employee handbook for a different state? View our interactive map for required employee handbook policies by state.