2019 Tennessee Code
Title 50 - Employer and Employee
Chapter 7 - Tennessee Employment Security Law
Part 7 - Enforcement
§ 50-7-708. Protection of rights and benefits -- Penalty for violations.
(1) No agreement by an individual to waive, release or commute the individual's rights to benefits, or any other rights under this chapter, shall be valid.
(2) No agreement by any individual in the employ of any person or concern to pay all or any portion of an employer's premiums, required under this chapter from the employer, shall be valid.
(3) No employer shall directly or indirectly make, require or accept any deduction from wages to finance the employer's premiums required from the employer, or require or accept any waiver of any right under this chapter by any individual in the employer's employ.
(4) Any employer, or officer or agent of any employer, who violates this subsection (a) commits a Class C misdemeanor.
(1) No individual claiming benefits shall be charged fees of any kind in any proceedings under this chapter by the commissioner’s designee, the commissioner, or the commissioner's representatives, or by any court or any officer of the court; provided, that this subdivision (b)(1) shall not limit or affect the requirements of § 50-7-304(i)(5) with respect to giving bond for costs incident to the filing of a petition for certiorari for judicial review of any decision of the commissioner. Excluding attorney's fees, the uncharged fees shall be deemed a part of the expenses of administering this chapter.
(2) Any individual claiming benefits in any proceedings before the commissioner’s designee, the commissioner, or the commissioner's representatives, may be represented by counsel or other duly authorized agents. No counsel or agent shall either charge or receive from the individual for services rendered in representing the individual in the administrative proceedings more than any amount approved by the commissioner’s designee. Any counsel or agent seeking compensation for the services shall submit a written application to the commissioner's designee for prior approval of the compensation supported by details and information that the commissioner’s designee requires.
(3) Any individual claiming benefits in any proceedings before a court may be represented by counsel. No counsel shall either charge or receive from the individual for services rendered in representing the individual in the judicial proceedings more than an amount approved by the court before which the matter is pending. Any counsel seeking compensation for the services shall submit a written application, if required, to the court for prior approval of the compensation supported by details and information that court requires.
(4) Any person who violates this subsection (b) commits, for each offense, a Class C misdemeanor.
(c) No assignment, pledge or encumbrance of any right to benefits that are or may become due or payable under this chapter shall be valid. The rights to benefits shall be exempt from levy, execution, attachment or any other remedy whatsoever provided for the collection of debt. Benefits received by any individual, so long as they are not mingled with other funds of the recipient, are exempt from any remedy whatsoever for the collection of all debts, except debts incurred for necessaries furnished to the individual or the individual's spouse or dependents during the time when the individual was unemployed. No waiver of any exemption provided for in this subsection (c) is valid.
(d) In the case where a claimant has duly filed a claim for benefits and the claimant dies after the close of a week of unemployment in which the claimant was eligible and for which benefits are payable under this chapter, the division of employment security may designate any person who might in its judgment properly receive the benefits, and a receipt or an endorsement from the person so designated shall fully discharge the fund from liability for the benefits.