Press Releases

Required Workplace Compliance Posters Available Free from State

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development; Sept. 1, 2014:

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development and Secretary of State Tre Hargett want employers to know that required workplace posters are available at no charge from the State of Tennessee at

Employers may have received misleading notices in the mail advising them to update employment posters that are required by law to post. These notices frequently have “labor law compliance alert” or “final notice for compliance” or a similar heading, and then offer to sell the required set of posters. We have recently become aware of an entity called “US Compliance Service” that has circulated a potentially misleading solicitation related to employment posters.

“It’s unfortunate that employers intending to do the right thing by posting laws and regulations in the workplace are taken advantage of,” said Labor Commissioner Burns Phillips. “Once a sale has been made, inevitably there are frequent updates to follow at a significant price. We hope to educate the public that these required postings are always free from state government.”

Secretary Hargett agreed, stating that “the overwhelming majority of people who run businesses in our state want to do the right thing and follow the law. But they need to be aware that there are people out there who might try to take advantage of them.”

Several years ago, the Tennessee Attorney General’s office reached an agreement with a company that was deceptively selling labor law posters in Tennessee. Mandatory Poster Agency, Inc., was headquartered in Michigan, but did business in Tennessee as the Tennessee Labor Law Poster Service and the Tennessee Mandatory Poster Agency. The Attorney General’s office alleged that solicitations by the company were deceptive because they appeared to be from a governmental agency and appeared to be from a business located in Tennessee with “an official looking” seal. Businesses that purchased posters from this company were eligible for restitution if they filed a complaint.

All required posters are available free from the following Internet address: Directly below the state poster listings is a link to the required federal (U.S. Department of Labor) posters, which can also be downloaded free.

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development has also developed an all-in-one poster containing all of the state requirements. That poster is also free and can be received by sending a request to

If you hear that a company is pressuring employers to buy posters, please obtain as much identifying information as possible and e-mail or call (615) 253-6674.

Press Releases

Update on Changes to TN Unemployment Compensation

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development; June 21, 2013:

Update on Unemployment Insurance Modernization Provisions

Since June 2010, eligible unemployment insurance claimants supporting minor children have been receiving $15 per child, to a maximum of $50, as a dependent allowance added to their weekly unemployment benefit amount. Those dependent allowance payments will end soon as a result of legislation signed by Governor Haslam that becomes effective July 1, 2013.

For claimants currently receiving unemployment, the last payable week to receive dependent benefits will be the week that ends June 29, 2013. Claimants filing new claims for unemployment benefits on June 30 may be eligible to receive only one week of dependency benefits – for the week that ends July 6, 2013; any unemployment payments for weeks ending after that date will not include dependent allowances.

Other changes affecting eligibility included in the legislation are these:

Alternative base period provision

Through the week ending June 29, 2013, an unemployment claimant’s “base period” is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters, unless there are insufficient wages to monetarily qualify for benefits, in which case the claimant’s base period is the last four completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the first day of the claimant’s benefit year. This amendment revises this provision to specify that an unemployment claimant’s base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters, “unless the first quarter of the last five completed calendar quarters was included in the base period applicable to any individual’s previous benefit year,” in which case the claimant’s base period would be the last four completed calendar quarters.

Note: A claimant’s base period is the time frame that determines whether he is monetarily eligible for unemployment benefits.

Disqualification from benefits for part-time workers provision

Under present law, no claimant who is otherwise eligible for unemployment benefits may be deemed ineligible for benefits solely for the reason that the claimant seeks, applies for, or accepts only part-time work instead of full-time work, if the part-time work is for a minimum of 20 hours per week. This amendment removes this provision, effective the week that ends July 6, 2013.

Press Releases

TN Sees Spike in Unemployment for May

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development; June 20, 2013:


NASHVILLE – Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced today Tennessee’s unemployment rate for May was 8.3 percent, which increased three tenths of one percentage point from the April revised rate of 8.0 percent. The national unemployment rate for May 2013 was 7.6 percent, increasing by one tenth of one percentage point from the previous month.

Economic Summary:

  • Tennessee’s labor force hit a record high in May, mostly from new entrants, reentrants, and dislocated workers returning to the labor force as unemployed persons.
  • Total nonfarm employment increased 5,700 from April to May. The largest increases occurred in accommodation/food services, administrative/support/waste services, and retail trade.

Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 52,500. The largest increases were in professional/business services, accommodation/food services, and health care/social assistance.

Press Releases

Phillips Named TN Labor Commissioner

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; June 12, 2013:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced Burns Phillips as the new commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Phillips had been serving as acting commissioner of the department, after coming over from the Department of Finance and Administration (F&A) where he was managing director of customer-focused government initiatives administration-wide.

“I am very grateful to Burns for taking on this role, and,” Haslam said. “He has both public and private sector experience and has served in multiple departments at the state level, and I appreciate his willingness to continue serving at Labor and Workforce Development.”

Phillips, 64, received both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Middle Tennessee State University, and he earned his law degree from the Nashville School of Law in 1978.

He worked in the Budget Office of F&A early in his professional career before working in medical sales and marketing in the private sector. In 1991, he founded a surgical instrument company that conducted business in the United States and 30 other countries.

“I am deeply honored that Gov. Haslam has given me this opportunity to serve Tennesseans,” Phillips said. “I am committed to the people and to the work of Labor and Workforce Development, and I will continue to build upon the foundation we have established at the department.”

Phillips and his wife, Sally, live in Nashville and have two children and four grandchildren.