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Meal and Break Rules in Tennessee

Filed under Managing the Workplace. Fact checked on June 28, 2012.

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Employers in Tennessee must comply with these state rules relating to meals and break times.

An employee in Tennessee who is scheduled to work six consecutive hours must have a 30-minute, unpaid rest break or meal period.

If, however, the nature of the workplace is such that employees may take breaks during the workday, the scheduled rest/meal period need not be provided.

Breaks may not be scheduled during or before the first workday hour.

Tipped Employees May Waive Meal Break

A tipped employee principally employed in the service of food or beverages to customers, at the discretion of an employer, may voluntarily waive his or her right to a 30-minute unpaid meal break. The waiver request must be in writing, and both the employer and the employee must consent to the waiver.

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