Required Personnel Policies

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State law, found at T.C.A. 5-23-101 et seq., requires that each county[1] have written personnel policies in place covering all county employees on four broad topics.  Copies of these policies are filed with the county legislative body and are maintained in the county clerk’s office.  The law requiring written personnel policies covers only the specified four topics; any other policies a county employer may have or wish to adopt are outside the scope of this law.  The four topics are:

               1.            Leave Policies

               2.            Wage & Hour Policies

               3.            Anti-discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policies

               4.            Drug Testing Policy (only for CDL drivers)

All “county officials” (defined in T.C.A. 5-23-102 as county trustees, registers of deeds, county clerks, judges who employ county employees, clerks of court, sheriffs, assessors, boards of education, and the chief administrative officer of the highway or public works department; also county mayors who choose to adopt separate policies under T.C.A. § 5-23-103(e)) are required to either (1) adopt written personnel policies on the four required topics to govern the employees of their respective offices or departments, or (2) be governed by policies adopted by the county legislative body and the county mayor, which policies govern all county employees who are not covered by separate policies.[2]

[1] This law does not apply to any county with a population over 800,000 (Shelby County) or to any county with a metropolitan form of government (currently, Davidson, Moore and Trousdale counties). There are no other exceptions.

 [2] Officials and department heads that are not included in the definition of “county officials” in T.C.A. 5-23-102 cannot adopt separate policies.  See T.C.A. 5-23-103.