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Filing a Wage and Hour Claim - Kentucky

Does Kentucky have state overtime laws that are different from federal law?

Under Kentucky law, employers must pay employees at a rate of one and one-half the employee's regular hourly wage for working more than forty hours in one week.

Some employees are exempt from the overtime requirement. Salaried employees engaged in administrative, professional, executive or computer professional activities are exempt from the overtime requirement. Additionally, employees engaged in agricultural, motor carrier and outside sales activities are exempt from the overtime requirement. The following employees are also exempt under Kentucky law:

  • Employees of retail stores engaged in work connected with selling, purchasing, and distributing merchandise, wares, goods, articles, or commodities
  • Employees of restaurant, hotel, or motel operations
  • Employees exempt from the overtime requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Employees who provide 24-hour residential care to children on the employer's premises for a non-profit childcare facility
  • Employees providing in-home elder care and employed by a third party agency

Does Kentucky have a minimum wage that is different from federal law?

The current minimum wage in Kentucky is $7.25 per hour, which is equal to the federal minimum wage. Employers can pay tipped employees at a rate of $2.13. Additionally, employers can reduce the minimum wage by the cost of providing board, lodging and other allowances.

Does Kentucky have meal and rest break requirements, unlike federal law?

Under Kentucky law, employees are entitled to a reasonable meal period no sooner than the third and no later than the fifth hour of work unless the employer and employee mutually agree to another arrangement. Employers are not obligated to compensate employees for a duty-free meal period. Additionally, employees must receive a paid ten-minute rest break for every four hours of work.

How do I file a wage/hour or labor standards claim in Kentucky?

You can file a complaint with the Kentucky Department of Labor. This can be done by filling out an Employment Wage Complaint Form. The filing should include as much information and documentation as possible, including pay statements and records of hours worked. This process can be completed with or without an attorney.

What are my time deadlines?

If you have a wage/hour complaint, do not delay in contacting the Department of Labor to file a claim. There are strict time limits in which wage claims must be filed. If you file a complaint directly in court, you must file the complaint within six months from the date that the claim arose.

As you might have other legal claims with shorter deadlines, do not wait to file your claim until your time limit is close to expiring. You may wish to consult with an attorney prior to filing your claim, if possible. Yet, if you are unable to find an attorney who will assist you, it is not necessary to have an attorney to file your claim.

How can I or my attorney pursue a claim in court in Kentucky?

Employees can bring an action in court to recover unpaid wages and attorneys' fees and costs are recoverable, as well as penalties and liquidated damages in an additional equal amount of the unpaid wages. The claim must be filed no later than six months after the wage claim occurs.

State Labor Agency

Department of Workers’ Claims
657 Chamberlin Avenue
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: (502) 564-5550

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