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Tennessee Workers Compensation Laws

Workers compensation law, rules and policy information for the State of Tennessee

State:  Tennessee

Updated:  01-10-2017

Authority/State Rating Bureau:  NCCI

National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI)
901 Peninsula Corporate Circle
Boca Raton, FL 33487-1362
800-622-4123


Compulsory:  Yes

Private Insurance:  Allowed

Self-Insurance:  Allowed

State Fund:  None

Assigned Risk:  Effective July 1, 2015 Assigned Risk Workers Compensation is provided through the National Council on Compensation Insurance aka NCCI. Prior to this date Assigned Risk was provided by The Tennessee Workers compensation Insurance Plan. Contact NCCI at:

National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI)
901 Penisula Corporate Circle
Boca Raton, FL 33487-1362
800-622-4123
NCCI



Numerical Exceptions:  There is an exemption for employers with fewer than 5 employees, but all subcontractors and anyone engaged in the construction industry is required to carry workers' compensation insurance, even if they have one employee.

Individual Waivers Allowed:  Some are permitted.

Small Deductible Program:
Sole Proprietor:  Excluded from coverage/may elect to be included - If included a workers compensation sole proprietor payroll of $41,000 will be used to calculate premium, as of 3-1-12, $41,900 as of 3-1-2013, $43,400 as of 7-1-2014, $44,100 as of 3-1-2015. $46,200 as of 3-1-2017.

For Tennessee construction only risks rating payroll is banded from a minimum of $15,600 (revised from $19,900) to a maximum of $60,300 as of 3-1-2012, $20,800 / $61,500 as of 3-1-13, $20,800 / $63,800 as of 7-1-2014, $20,800 / $64,800 as of 3-1-2015. $23,400 / $67,900 as of 3-1-2017


Partners:  Excluded from coverage/may elect to be included - If included a workers compensation partner payroll of $41,000 will be used to calculate premium, as of 3-1-12, $41,900 as of 3-1-2013, $43,400 as of 7-1-2014, $44,100 as of 3-1-2015. $46,200 as of 3-1-2017.

For Tennessee construction only risks rating payroll is banded from a minimum of $15,600 (revised from $19,900) to a maximum of $60,300 as of 3-1-2012, $20,800 / $61,500 as of 3-1-13, $20,800 / $63,800 as of 7-1-2014, $20,800 / $64,800 as of 3-1-2015. $23,400 / $67,900 as of 3-1-2017.


Corporate Officers:  Included in coverage/may elect to be exempt - If included a corporate officer payroll min/max of 31,200/166,400 will be used to calculate premium, as of 3-1-12, $41,600 / $166,400 as of 3-1-2013, $44,200 / $171,600 as of 7-1-2014, $44,200 / $176,800 as of 3-1-2015. $900 min / $3,600 max per week as of 3-1-2017.

For Tennessee construction only risks a corporate rating payroll (revised) minimum of $15,600 to a maximum of $60,320 is used as of 3-1-12, $20,800 / $61,360 as of 3-1-2013, $20,800 / $63,960 as of 7-1-2014, $20,800 / $65,000 as of 3-1-2015. $450 min / $1,310 max per week as of 3-1-2017.


LLC Members:  Treated same as partners.

Election or Rejection of Coverage Forms:

Access To Other Tennessee Workers Compensation Forms:  Tennessee Workers Compensation Forms. This link will take you to the Tennessee State Website forms page for access to other state workers compensation forms.

Note About Forms:  Also be sure to contact your insurance company for information about additional forms they may use for exclusion or inclusion of coverage.



Contractors:  Any person engaged in the construction industry, including principal contractors, or intermediate contractors, or subcontractors are required to carry workers' compensation insurance on their employees, even if they have less than five. Effective 3-1-11 Sole proprietors, partners, officers of a corp and members of a LLC engaged in the construction industry and including principal contractors and subcontractors are required to carry workers compensation coverage on themselves and must be included along with their employees even if they have less than 5 employees.

A sole proprietor or partner who is engaged in the construction industry is not required to carry workers compensation on themselves if they are doing work directly for the owner or the property but must provide coverage on any subcontractor, employee or worker not otherwise covered by a workers comp policy.

Statute now allows sole proprietors, partners, officers of a corp and LLC members to obtain an exemption for this requirement. The exemption must be listed on the Tennessee Secretary of States Registry.

The subcontractor acting as a self-employed individual is not an employee of the general contractor and has no coverage as long as he is not working as an employee. To determine whether an individual is an employee or subcontractor, the following factors should be considered:
  • The right to control the conduct of the work;
  • The right of termination;
  • The method of payment;
  • The freedom to select and hire helpers;
  • The furnishing of tools and equipment;
  • Self-scheduling of working hours; and
  • The freedom to offer services to other entities.
A subcontractor can elect to be covered by the general's workers' compensation insurance by filing Form I-15 with the Division of Workers' Compensation. This form allows the general contractor to withhold premiums from the sub's payroll to cover the subcontractor. Form I-15 must be signed and notarized by the general contractor and the subcontractor and filed with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Failure of the general contractor to file with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development does not relieve the obligation of the insurance company to provide coverage to a subcontractor when the subcontractor can produce evidence of payment of premiums to the insurance company.

The law prohibits the employer from deducting any portion of the workers' compensation premium from the wage or salary of any employee. There is no form that will waive the rights of employees of subcontractors. The subcontractor must provide coverage for his employees.

A subcontractor can have his own workers' compensation coverage and furnish proof of this coverage to the general contractor. A general contractor can require the subcontractor to have workers' compensation insurance. NOTE TO SUBCONTRACTORS OBTAINING WORKERS' COMPENSATION COVERAGE: Most subcontractors are sole proprietors or partners. Sole proprietors and partners are not covered by their workers' compensation policy when it is written; only the employees are covered. The subcontractor who is a sole proprietor or partner may elect to be covered by his own workers' compensation policy by filing Form I-4 with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.


Special Notes:  Corporate officers may be excluded by filing Form I-6, Corporate Officer Election Not to Accept provisions of workers' compensation. Note: The election of a corporate officer to be excluded does not reduce the number of employees for the purposes of determining the requirements of coverage.

Sole proprietors and partners are excluded from a workers' compensation policy, but may elect to be covered by filing Form I-4, Sole Proprietor/Partner Election to come within the provisions of the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Law. Note: Both the I-4 and the I-6 forms are effective 30 days after the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development's accepted stamp date. The original should be sent to the Division of Workers' Compensation with all parts filled out and properly sworn to before a notary public or other official.

Revisions to the Tennessee code regarding workers compensation coverage for those involved in the construction industry are somewhat confusing. As always you should only use our pages as a reference and consult with your local insurance professional or contact the State of Tennessee Department of Insurance for proper clearification of these new rules as they are developing. Thanks!


Experience Rating Eligibility:  Tennessee employers will receive an experience modification rate or EMR when they meet one of these triggers:
  • $9,000 in policy premium is generated during the last year or last two years.
  • $4,500 is the average policy premium generated for more than two years.


Tennessee Workers Compensation Subrogation:  State statute 50-6-112 addresses the subrogation of workers compensation for the State of Tennessee. This statute is known as; Actions against third persons -- Attorney's fees -- Distribution of recovery -- Limitations period. You must follow a slight road map to be able to view this statute online. Here's directions: 1) Access the link we've provided below and when prompted click "I Agree"; 2) Go to Title 50, Employer and Employee and open that section; 3) Go to Chapter 6, Workers Compensation Law; 4) Go to Part 1, General Provisions and open that; 5) Scroll down to 50-6-112 and open that file. It's here where you will find this statute.

Tennessee Statute Of Subrogation





Regulated By: 

Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development
Workers' Compensation Division
710 James Robertson Pkwy 2nd Floor
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0661
Phone: (615) 532-4812
Toll Free: 1-800-332-2667
http://www.state.tn.us/labor-wfd/wcomp.html

Workers Compensation Statute: 

Tennessee Workers Compensation Statute


Didn't find what you're looking for? Search here for more about Tennessee rules: 



Information on this page is provided only as a reference. While we strive to mantain accurate information on this site please realize workers compensation laws are complicated and subject to change at any time. No warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of this information is provided or to be implied. You must verify this data before use with the individual governing authority for this state. If you need help with a workers compensation problem or have a specific situation or question please contact our office. Otherwise please consult your states governing authority or an attorney in your state of residency for assistance.




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