Beginning on Sept. 1, anyone claiming unemployment benefits will have to show that they are actively looking for work, including keeping a work search log.
"This really does raise accountability for those who are supposed to be already looking for work," said Jeff Hentschel, the communications director for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
According to a news release from the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development, claimants will be required to conduct three work searches each week.
A list of valid work search activity is available on the department's website at www.tn.gov/labor-wfd or at the nearest Tennessee Career Center.
Labor and Workforce Development officials will conduct random audits of 1,000 claimants' work search documentation each week to verify work search activity. If work search claims are found to be fraudulent, the department will stop a claimant's benefits immediately and can suspend payments for eight weeks.
Notices will be mailed next week about the new requirements and right now state employees are concerned about notifying the 40,000 people across the state who are affected.
"They might not read the mail that comes to their house, or their address has changed and they haven't notified the department, so that's why we're getting the word out as much as possible that this change is occurring, so people aren't surprised and don't get their benefits shut down with out notice," Hentschel said.
Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.