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Workers’ Compensation Death Benefit Increase

On May 19, 2017, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed legislation (S.B. 297) increasing the amount an employer must pay from $7,500 to $10,000 in the case of an employee’s death that was the result of a workplace injury or occupational disease.

The law is effective May 19, 2017.

Read TN S.B. 297

Wage Payment Frequency and Payment upon Termination

On May 11, 2017, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed legislation (H.B. 419) into law creating Public Chapter 362, which provides that private employers must pay all wages or compensation no less than once per month. Specifically, all wages or compensation of employees in private employment are due and payable at least once a month under the following conditions:

  • If payments are made only once per month, then all wages or compensation earned and unpaid prior to the first day of any month are due and payable no later than the fifth day of the succeeding month.
  • If payments are made two or more times per month, then all wages and compensation of employees in private employments are due and payable as follows:
    • All wages or compensation earned and unpaid prior to the first day of any month are due and payable no later than the twentieth day of the month following the month when the wages were earned.
    • All wages or compensation earned and unpaid prior to the sixteenth day of any month are due and payable no later than the fifth day of the succeeding month.

However, employers may pay wages more frequently than once a month.

The law also provides that the final wages of an employee who quits or is discharged must include any vacation pay or other compensatory time that is owed to the employee through company policy or labor agreement. However, this does not mandate employers to provide vacations, either paid or unpaid; nor does it require that employers establish written vacation pay policies.

The law is effective May 11, 2017.

Read Public Chapter 362