Employees in Tennessee have certain legislated rights to a safe and healthy workplace, as well as a right to prompt payments of agreed upon wages or the correct handling of child labor. If an employee feels these rights are being violated in some way either personally or as a witness to violations concerning a third party, he or she also has a right to report these violations to the Tennessee state agencies overseeing enforcement of health, safety and labor laws. Two departments, the Tennessee Department of Labor and the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration, have the investigative means to determine if violations are occurring and the enforcement mechanisms in place to put a stop to them.

Step 1.

Complain of issues other than safety or health matters, such as child labor laws or wage issues, to the Tennessee Department of Labor. Locate the phone number for the department on the Tennessee state website. Ask to speak to a representative of the Labor Standards Division, and give a detailed complaint to the representative over the telephone.

Step 2.

Ask for an address for the Department of Labor from the representative. Follow up your call with a written complaint sent to the representative that you spoke with at the provided address, and containing all pertinent information regarding the complaint. Include your contact information in both the conversation with the representative and in the written complaint in case you need to provide clarification of the complaint information.

Step 3.

Log on to the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) website and download a “Notice of Alleged Safety or Health Hazards” form to report any employer violations of safety or health statues in the workplace. You must file a report within the first 30 days after the violation occurred.

Step 4.

Fill the form out using a black or blue ink pen for easy readability. Include all information requested on the form in order to aid TOSHA in carrying out a quick and thorough investigation. In your complaint, also include any further information pertinent to the violation. Mail the form to the address provided and wait to be contacted by the administration for further information.

Step 5.

Obtain the services of a labor law attorney for complaints of a nature not falling under the jurisdiction of the Tennessee Department of Labor or the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Have the attorney file the proper motions with a Tennessee district court for resolution.


Request the removal of your name from any paperwork provided to the employer as per your rights under federal whistleblower acts.