Tennessee
  • Updated on 28 Jul 2020
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Tennessee

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Ban-The-Box & Fair Hiring Laws By State

We update this overview of ban-the-box rules often. But laws change quickly, and we cannot guarantee all information is current. Always consult your attorney for legal advice.

Guidance
Ban-the-box compliance, targeted screens, and individualized assessments apply only when taking adverse action due to criminal records. They are not required when taking adverse action based on non-criminal records.


STATE LAWS — PUBLIC SECTOR

Who must follow: This ban-the-box law applies only to public sector employers for the state of Tennessee.

Timing of inquiry: Public sector employers for the state of Tennessee may not inquire into criminal history on the job application.

Adverse action implications:  

  • Individualized assessment. This location requires an individualized assessment be performed prior to final adverse action.

COUNTY LAWS

CHATTANOOGA, TN – PUBLIC SECTOR

Who must follow: This ban-the-box law applies only to public sector employers for the City of Chattanooga, TN.

Timing of inquiry: Public sector employers for the city of Chattanooga may only inquire into criminal history after the candidate has submitted the job application.

Adverse action implications: None

HAMILTON COUNTY, TN – PUBLIC SECTOR

Who must follow: This ban-the-box law applies only to public sector employers for Hamilton County, TN.

Timing of inquiry: Public sector employers for Hamilton County may only inquire into criminal history after a conditional offer of employment.

Adverse action implications: None

MEMPHIS, TN – PUBLIC SECTOR

Who must follow: This ban-the-box law applies only to public sector employers for the city of Memphis, TN.

Timing of inquiry: Public sector employers for the city of Memphis may only inquire into criminal history after the applicant has been deemed “otherwise qualified.”

Adverse action implications:

  • Pre-adverse action. Employers must highlight convictions in the background check that warrant a denial of employment and send the report to candidate along with the pre-adverse action notice.
  • Individualized assessment. This location requires an individualized assessment be performed prior to final adverse action.
  • Waiting period. The applicant shall have 10 business days after receipt of the pre-adverse action notice to respond and provide rebuttal information. The city must review all information prior to taking final adverse action.

NASHVILLE, TN – PUBLIC SECTOR

Who must follow: This ban-the-box law applies only to public sector employers for the city of Nashville, TN, who are subject to Metro Civil Service Commission rules (non-public safety positions).

Timing of inquiry: Public sector employers for the city of Nashville who are subject to civil service rules may not inquire into criminal history on the job application.

Adverse action implications: None

SHELBY COUNTY, TN – PUBLIC SECTOR

Who must follow: This ban-the-box law applies only to county government employers for Shelby County, TN. Exceptions apply for certain positions, such as those in the Department of Corrections, or if required by state or federal law.

Timing of inquiry: Shelby County government employers may not inquire into an applicant's criminal history on the initial job application. Background checks may only be conducted after a conditional offer of employment has been made.

Adverse action implications: None

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