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Tennessee Employment Law Center Tennessee Employment Law Center
Tennessee Employment Law Center
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Discrimination...
Gender Discrimination
National Origin Discrimination
Pregnancy Discrimination
Race and Color Discrimination
Religious Discrimination
Sexual Harassment
 
...and the Law
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
Employment at Will
Equal Pay Act
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Insurance Benefits on Termination and Resignation (COBRA)
Mine Safety and Health Act (MSHA)
Non-Compete Agreements
Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
Rehabilitation Act of 1974 (Rehab Act)
Unemployment Benefits
Uniformed Services Employment & Re-Employment Rights Act (USERRA)
Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN)
Workers' Compensation (Workers' Comp)

Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits are intended to provide temporary financial assistance to workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own. Each state administers an unemployment benefits program under the guidelines set forth by the federal government. A general discussion of unemployment benefits in Tennessee appears below; however, we suggest that, if you have a specific question, you contact the office of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development nearest you.

Rule:

  • Unemployment insurance payments are based on the wages the employee received during the employee's "base period." A base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the calendar quarter in which the claimant filed a claim for benefits.
     
  • Not all unemployed workers are entitled to payments. There are a number of disqualifying events, including:
     
    • Voluntarily leaving a job without good cause connected with work (this does not include pregnancy or medically certifiable illness or disability).
       
    • Discharge for misconduct associated with work.
       
    • Failure to apply for or accept work when directed to do so by the unemployment office (only disqualified for the week of the failure).
       
    • Unemployment due to strike or lockout, but only if the unemployed person is involved or is a party to the strike or lockout.
       
  • Unemployment insurance benefits are paid by the Tennessee Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. Tennessee businesses are responsible for contributing to this fund.
     
  • All unemployment benefits are taxable.
     
  • You may not lie about your wages when calculating your unemployment benefits.

Definitions:

  • Unemployment Insurance is a joint federal and state program that provides benefits to unemployed workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.
     
  • Tennessee Employers who are liable for unemployment insurance include:
     
    • All government employers.
       
    • Certain nonprofit, domestic, and agricultural employers.
       
    • All other employers who have a total payroll of $1,500 or more in any quarter in the current or previous calendar year.
       
  • Eligible Employees are:
     
    • Those who are unemployed through no fault connected with work.
       
    • Those who are able and available to work.
       
    • Those who are looking for work in a usual manner and who may be required to register for work.
       
  • Benefits:
     
    • In general, unemployment benefits cover approximately half of an employee's lost weekly income.
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Employment Law Glossary of Terms
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