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Kentucky

Kentucky Wage and Hour Law

The attorneys with Dolley Law have traveled across the country representing clients in wage and hour matters. In doing so, we have developed detailed knowledge and expertise in disputes concerning minimum wage, overtime compensation, and wage payments. We can assist you in navigating federal or state requirements for many types of wage and hour matters. Please contact us toda

Kentucky Overtime Law

Kentucky’s overtime laws are similar to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). 29 U.S.C. § 207; Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 337.285. Nonexempt employees should be paid one-and-one-half times their regular rate of pay for every hour worked over 40 in each workweek. Id. Kentucky has an additional rule about working all seven days in a workweek—that is, employees who work a seventh consecutive day are entitled to overtime pay (i.e., one-and-one-half times their regular rate of pay) for all hours worked on the seventh day. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 337.050.

Meal and Rest Breaks

Kentucky law requires employers to provide breaks for employees. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 337.365. Employees are entitled to take a paid ten-minute break for every four consecutive hours of work. Id. Additionally, employees are entitled to take a “reasonable” break for lunch, typically 30 minutes, which should be scheduled close to the middle of the employee’s shift, not sooner than three hours after the start of the shift or more than five hours before the end of the shift. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 337.355; 803 K.A.R. 1:065. Meal periods where employees are completely relieved of their duties are not counted as worktime, and therefore, do not need to be paid. Id.

Kentucky Minimum Wage Law

The Kentucky minimum wage rate is the same as the minimum wage rate currently set forth by the FLSA. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 337.275; 29 U.S.C. 206(a)(1)(C). Currently, the minimum wage rate is $7.25 per hour, and the statute allows for the state minimum wage rate to increase if the federal minimum wage rate is ever increased. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 337.275(1).

Kentucky has similar laws as the FLSA for tipped employees. 29 U.S.C. § 213(a); Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 337.275(2). Tipped employees should be paid a minimum rate of $2.13 per hour so long as the employee still makes a regular rate that is above the minimum wage rate when all tips are counted toward weekly compensation. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 337.275(2); 29 C.F.R. § 516.28 (2019). This rate (i.e., $2.13 per hour) is the same under both the FLSA and state law. Id. However, Kentucky has an additional protection in place for tipped employees—they cannot be required to participate in tip pooling, and employers are not authorized to take portions of the gratuities. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 337.275(2), 337.065.

Potential Liabilities for Wage and Hour Violations

Kentucky has similar liabilities as the FLSA for employers who violate wage and hour laws. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 337.385(1); 29 U.S.C. § 216. Those employers who underpay employees could be held liable for unpaid wages, liquidated damages, and attorney’s fees. Id. If the employer can show that they acted in good faith, then the court may choose not to hold employer liable for liquidated damages. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 337.385(2).

Additionally, there are civil penalties that the employer may be liable for, including violating wage and hour laws, refusing to cooperate with the Commissioner of the Department of Workplace Standards’ investigation, and not providing adequate rest breaks to employees. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 337.990. The court can impose fines of between $100-$1,000 dollars for every separate offense, and the Secretary of the Labor Cabinet may use discretion in determining how much money to fine the employers. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 336.985. Factors that can be considered are the size of the business, gravity of the violation, the number of times the employer has committed a violation, and good faith in achieving compliance. Id.

Wage Payment Violations

Kentucky has additional laws regarding the timing of wage payments to employees. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 337.020. Wages are due no later than 18 days after the wages have been earned by the employee. Id. Employers may be liable for civil penalties, unpaid wages, liquidated damages, and attorney’s fees if employees are not paid on time. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 337.990(1), 337.385(1). The civil penalties range from $100-$1000 for every infraction. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 337.990.

Contact Us

Dolley Law represents clients in FLSA and wage and hour cases in courts throughout the United States. We can help you better understand what your wage and hour right, duties, and needs may be. If you are in or around Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort, Bowling Green, or Paducah, do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss potential legal representation by calling 314-645-4100 or by emailing us at kevin@dolleylaw.com.