Tennessee Required Workday Break & Meal Periods 2023
Workday Meal Periods:
Workday Rest Periods:
Tennessee has regulations describing workday meal / lunch breaks to be provided to employees, but does not mandate that employees be provided additional, shorter break periods. This page provides details about Tennessee's meal period requirements.
Mandatory Workday Lunch / Meal Breaks in Tennessee
Tennessee mandates a ½ hour unpaid meal period for all employees scheduled to work 6 consecutive hours or more. The meal break shall not be scheduled during or before the first hour of the employee's scheduled shift.
Which employees are covered by Tennessee's meal period regulations?
Tennessee's meal period law is applicable to every employer, except in workplace environments that by their nature of business provide ample opportunity for employees to take an appropriate meal break.
Additional Meal Period Information
An employer is permitted to waive an employee's right to a thirty-minute unpaid meal break pursuant to the voluntary written request of an employee who is principally employed in the service of food or beverages to customers and who, in the course of such employment, receives tips and reports the tips to the employer.
Note: Tennessee Has Special Regulations for Minor Employees
In addition to a general regulation requiring meal periods for employees, Tennessee has special regulations that require meal periods for minors under age 18. These regulations, which require more frequent and / or longer meal / break periods, take precedence over the general regulations for minor employees. Learn more about Tennessee's child labor regulations here.
Mandatory Workday Rest Periods in Tennessee
While some states have labor regulations requiring that employees be allowed one or more workday rest periods, the Tennessee government has no such regulations. Therefore, in Tennessee, any breaks or rest periods are provided to employees at the discretion of the employer.