View all Articles

Tennessee Repeals Subminimum Wage for Employees with Disabilities

On April 20, 2022, Tennessee repealed the state’s minimum wage exemption for employees with disabilities. As a result, employees with disabilities in Tennessee must receive wages at or above the minimum wage rate. This new requirement becomes effective on July 1, 2022.

Tennessee follows federal minimum wage rate requirements which is currently $7.25 per hour. However, under both federal and state law, employers can pay lower wages to certain employees such as those who are impaired by age, physical or mental deficiency, or injury.

Even though federal law still allows employers to pay subminimum wages to employees with disabilities, the Fair Labor Standards Act also dictates that when state and federal laws differ, employers must apply the standard that provides the greatest benefit or protection to employees.

Next Steps for Employers

This means that Tennessee employers are no longer allowed to pay lower wages to employees with disabilities after June 30, 2022. Employers should adjust their payroll policies and processes to ensure compliance with the state’s minimum wage requirements by July 1, 2022.

HR Works, Inc., headquartered at 200 WillowBrook Office Park in Fairport (Rochester), New York, with an office in East Syracuse, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.