Kentucky

Labor Compliance Guide

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

No employer shall employ any employee for a workweek longer than 40 hours unless such employee receives compensation for employment in excess of 40 hours in a workweek at a rate of not less than 1.5 times the hourly rate employed. Under the Kentucky state law, employers must provide employees with at least one day off in seven.

 

Time and a half for work done on the seventh day of the week — Exception

Any employer who permits an employee to work seven (7) days in any one (1) workweek shall pay him at the rate of time and a half for the time worked on the seventh day.

 

Employees working at two (2) or more rates. Where an employee in a single workweek works at two (2) or more different types of work for which different non-overtime rates of pay have been established, his hourly rate for that week is the weighted average of such rates.

 

Each Workweek Stands Alone

The statute takes a single workweek as its standard and does not permit averaging of hours over two (2) or more weeks. Thus, if an employee works thirty (30) hours one week and the fifty (50) hours the next, he must receive overtime compensation for the overtime hours worked beyond the applicable maximum in the second week, even though the average number of hours worked in the two (2) weeks is forty (40).

 

Effective May 1, 2018, following is the distribution of Work Hours for Minor –

      • 14 to 15 year old: should not work after 7 pm – 3 hours per day on a school day, 8 hours per day on non-school day, 18 hours per week.
      • 16 to 17 year old: 6 hours per day on a school day, 8 hours per day on non-school day, 30 hours per week. They may not work after 10:30 P.M preceding school day or 1:00 A.M preceding non-school day.
      • 16 to 17 year old with parental permission: 6.5 hours per day on a school day, 8 hours per day on non-school day. 32.5 or forty 40 hours per week. They may not work after 11:00 P.M preceding school day or 1:00 A.M preceding non-school day.

A minor may work up to 32.5 hours in any 1 workweek if a parent or legal guardian gives permission in writing. A minor may work up to 40 hours in any 1 workweek if a parent or legal guardian gives permission in writing and the principal or head of the school the minor attends certifies in writing that the minor has maintained at least a 2.0-grade point average in the most recent grading period. School certification shall be valid for one year unless revoked sooner by the school authority. Parental permission and school certification shall remain at the employer’s place of business.

Overtime

An employee is paid overtime compensation for hours in excess of eight (8) per day at one and one-half (1 1/2) times the regular pay Extra compensation provided by a premium rate paid for work by the employee on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or regulation days of rest, or on the sixth or seventh day of the workweek, where such premium rate is not less than one and one-half (1 1/2) times the rate established in good faith for like work performed in nonovertime hours on other days. Extra compensation paid for these hours shall be creditable toward overtime compensation under the statute.

 

No employer shall employ any employee for a workweek longer than 40 hours unless such employee receives compensation for employment in excess of 40 hours in a workweek at a rate of not less than 1.5 times the hourly rate employed. This does not apply to employees of retail stores engaged to work connected with selling, purchasing and distributing merchandise, wares, goods, articles or commodities, or to employees of restaurants, hotels and motel operations, to employees as defined and exempted in overtime provisions of the FLSA.

Breaks

No employer shall require any employee to work without a rest period of at least 10 minutes during every four hours worked except those employees who are under the Federal Railway Labor Act. This shall be in addition to the regular lunch period. No reduction shall be made for hourly or salaried employees.

 

Breast Feeding Break

A mother may breastfeed her baby or express breast milk in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be. Breastfeeding a child or expressing breast milk as part of breastfeeding shall not be considered an act of public indecency and shall not be considered indecent exposure, sexual conduct, lewd touching, or obscenity.

Annual Leave

Kentucky does not have a vacation leave law that applies generally to a private employee.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time. See Berrier v. Bizer, 57 S.W.3d 271 (Kent. Sup. Ct. 2001).

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it. See Berrier v. Bizer, 57 S.W.3d 271 (Kent. Sup. Ct. 2001).

Minimum Wage

Employees must be paid at least the state minimum wage rate of $7.25 an hour. If an increase in the federal minimum exceeds the state minimum wage, the state minimum will increase to the same amount.

 

A minimum hourly wage of at least $10.10 must be paid by private companies with state government contracts to employees who perform work in connection with the contracts. The requirement is to be added to contracts that come up for renewal.
With a certificate from the Department of Labor, employers can pay a subminimum wage to learners, apprentices, workers with disabilities, sheltered workshop employees and students. The certificate will specify a period of time that the subminimum wage is effective.

Tips & Gratuities

Employers can pay employees regularly receiving more than $30 a month in tips the hourly rate required under the federal minimum wage law. Employers cannot require employees to participate in tip pools where employees must remit any gratuity for distribution among all employees.

Meal Breaks

Employers, except those subject to the federal Railway Labor Act, shall grant employees a reasonable period for lunch, as close to the middle of the employee’s scheduled shift as possible. An employee shall not be required to take a lunch period sooner than three hours or later than five hours from the commencement of his or her shift. This provision does not negate any provision of a collective bargaining or mutual agreement. Every employee must be granted a rest period of 10 minutes during every four hours worked, except employees subject to the RLA.

 

Lunch Break for Minor

Effective May 2018, Minors under 18 years of age shall not be permitted to work more than five (5) hours continuously without an interval of at least thirty (30) minutes for a lunch period. The beginning and end of the lunch period shall be documented by the employer.

Special Leave

Unpaid Leave
Employees may be eligible to take unpaid, job-protected, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Please refer to main United States page for further details on this Federal law.
Pregnancy Disability Leave

Employers must treat employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions in the same manner as other employees with a similar ability or inability to work for all employment-related purposes, including fringe benefit plans. Military caregiver leave – allows eligible employees to take up to 26 workweeks of leave during a “single 12-month period” to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness when the employee is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of the service member. The “single 12-month period” for military caregiver leave is different from the 12-month period used for other FMLA leave reasons.

Military Leave

Employer required to grant the employee leave to serve in the National Guard. An employee shall be granted a leave of absence by his employer for the period required to perform active duty or training in the National Guard. Upon the employee’s release from a period of active duty or training, he shall be permitted to return to his former position of employment with the seniority, status, pay or any other rights or benefits he would have had if he had not been absent, except that no employer shall be required to grant an employee a leave of absence with pay.

Voting Leave

Any person entitled to a vote at any election in this state shall, if he has made an application for leave prior to the day he appears before the county clerk to request an application form or to execute an absentee ballot, be entitled to absent himself from any services or employment in which he is then engaged or employed for a reasonable time, but not less than four (4) hours on the day he appears before the clerk to request an application form or to execute an absentee ballot, during normal business hours of the office of the clerk or to cast his ballot on the day of the election between the time of opening and closing the polls. The employer may specify the hours during which an employee may absent himself.

Adoption Leave

Upon receiving a written request by an employee, every employer shall grant reasonable personal leave not to exceed six (6) weeks when the reception of an adoptive child under the age of seven (7) is the reason for such request.

Emergency Responder Leave

No employer shall terminate an employee who is a volunteer firefighter, rescue squad member, emergency medical technician, peace officer, or a member of an emergency management agency because that employee when acting as a volunteer firefighter, rescue squad member, emergency medical technician, peace officer, or a member of an emergency management agency, is absent or late to the employee’s employment in order to respond to an emergency prior to the time the employee is to report to his or her place of employment.

Donor Leave

All Federal Employees are eligible to take up to 30 days a year of paid leave for donating organs. (5 U.S.C. §6327).

Last updated on: April 20th, 2020