Kentucky State Labor and Overtime Laws
Below is an overview of the minimum wage and overtime pay laws that apply to workers in the state of Kentucky. Please note that when state laws differ from the federal wage laws, the employer must follow the one which is most favorable to workers. Private actions to enforce Kentucky’s wage and hour laws, and recover unpaid overtime due to workers, are commonly brought (on a contingent fee basis) by employment law firms such as The Lore Law Firm. If you believe that you have been deprived of the overtime pay that you are legally entitled to, please contact us for a free and confidential review of your situation.
Kentucky’s current minimum wage rate is $7.25 per hour.
- $5.85 per hour through June 26, 2007
- $6.55 per hour through July 1, 2008
Employers may pay tipped employees (ones who customarily and regularly receive more than $30 per month in tips) a minimum of $2.13 per hour if the employer can show that the employee receives at least minimum wage when the employee’s tips are added to direct wages.
Tipped employees must be allowed to retain all tips except for the purpose of withholding amounts required by federal or state law. Employees cannot be required to participate in a tip pool; however, employees may voluntarily agree to divide gratuities among themselves.
Overtime pay of time and one-half must be paid for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek.
Under Kentucky’s state wage and hour laws, overtime pay is not required for the following employees:
- Retail store employees who sale, purchase, or distribute merchandise or products
- Restaurant, hotel and motel employees
- Employees who are exempt from the FLSA under
- 213(b)(1) – Motor Carrier Act exemption [link]
- 213(b)(6) – Seaman
- 213(b)(10) – Car, truck, farm equipment salespeople
- 213(b)(17) – Taxi cab drivers
- Home health care employees
Upon written request, city and county employees may be granted compensatory time (“comp time”) in lieu of overtime at a rate of not less than one and one-half (1-1/2) hours for each hour worked in excess of forty (40) hours in a work week.
Seventh Day Overtime
Under Kentucky state labor laws, time and half pay is due to any employee who works 7 days in a workweek unless the employee works less than 40 hours during that workweek. The following employees are not entitled to overtime under this regulation:
- Telephone carriers with less than 500 subscribers
- Assistants of doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professions licensed by the state
- Employees subject to the Federal Railway Labor Act
- Seamen and/or boat operators
- Employees who ice railroad cars
- Common carriers supervised by the Department of Vehicle Registration
- Officers and supervisors who primarily direct or supervise other employees.
Additional pay is not required for working on holidays under Kentucky state law.
Payment of accrued vacation pay at termination will depend on the employer’s policy or past practice. Kentucky state employment laws do not specifically require payment of unused vacation upon termination of employment.
Meal Breaks/Rest Periods
Employers are required to give employees a reasonable period for lunch as close to the middle of their scheduled work shift as possible but no sooner than 3 hours or longer than 5 hours from when their shift starts.
Employees are entitled to a 10 minute paid rest break during each 4 hours worked.
Kentucky labor laws allow the following deductions from an employee’s pay:
- Deductions that the employee has expressly agreed to in writing for insurance premiums, hospital, or medical dues
- Deductions authorized by local, state, or federal law
- Deductions agreed to through collective bargaining, a wage agreement, or statute
- Deductions for union dues when authorized by joint wage agreements or collective bargaining contracts
The following cannot be deducted from an employee’s pay:
- Cash shortages if the register is used by 2 or more people
- Check losses if the employee is given the discretion to accept or reject any check
- Losses due to property damage, faulty workmanship, stolen property, and customer default unless these losses are due to the employee’s willful or intentional disregard of the employer’s interest.
Kentucky state employment laws require employees be paid at least semi-monthly (twice a month).
Final wages must be paid on the next normal pay period or 14 days following the termination date whichever occurs last.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for bringing Kentucky labor law claims is five (5) years – meaning back wages can be recovered from the time of the filing of a lawsuit going back 5 years in time.
Can I be required to work overtime?
Yes. Kentucky state law does not limit the number of hours employees can be required to work.
Can my pay rate be changed?
Yes, as long as you are informed of the change prior to doing any work at the new rate.
Can my position be changed from hourly to salary?
Yes; however, please note your job duties and pay rate may still entitle you to overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek