What are the Kentucky Labor Laws?
Labor laws determine the employer-employee relationship in your workplace. If you are working in the state of Kentucky, you must know the federal and state laws that govern your workplace. In Kentucky, as an employee, you are protected throughout your employment process under both federal and state law. However, state laws provide greater protection to working employees than federal law in Kentucky regarding minimum wage and safety in office.
An employer in Kentucky, in addition to following federal and state law, has to follow municipal laws concerning the employer-employee relationship. This article will provide you with all the information you would require to know regarding employment laws in the state of Kentucky.
Discrimination and harassment laws in Kentucky
Under the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KRCA), employers are prohibited from discriminating on the grounds of race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, and genetic information. Employers in Kentucky who have at least 15 employees are subject to these laws, and for the law prohibiting age discrimination, employers with at least 20 employees must adhere to the law.
In addition to the above laws, laws in Kentucky also prohibit discrimination regarding job listings, hiring decision, interviews, layoffs, promotion, compensation, and termination. Also, in addition to the above prohibitions, employees are protected from discrimination on the grounds of physical disability or HIV related issue.
Equal pay in Kentucky
In jobs of comparable work, laws in Kentucky prohibits employers to pay females lesser than males relating to skill and responsibility with an exception only based on the merit system and seniority system. Also, discrimination must not be based on race, color, religion, sexual orientation and national origin.
Wage and labor in Kentucky
Regarding minimum wage, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the minimum wage and working hours that employers must adhere to. Employers are guided by law to pay the highest minimum wage to employees which is $7.25 an hour in Kentucky, which is the same as the federal minimum wage. Following the federal law, Kentucky law also allows for payment due to overtime to all employees.
Child labor in Kentucky
In Kentucky, minors who are aged under 14 are prohibited from employment except for a school-sponsored employment program. Also, minors aged between 14-15 are not permitted from working in hazardous jobs like manufacturing.
Leave laws in Kentucky
In Kentucky, benefits such as paid leave, sick leave, holidays and paid time off (PTO) are offered voluntarily by many employers. However, unpaid leaves may be issued by employers in the following cases:
Military leave- under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and Kentucky law, employers must allow their employees to take a vacation from work in case of federal or state military duty.
Family and medical leave- the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that requires employers who have a workforce of at least 50 members to issue employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave every year in the case of illness or caregiving issues.
Jury duty- employees in Kentucky are guided by law to take leave for jury duty.
Voting leave- employers should grant at least 4 hours off to employees to cast their votes.
Compensation and safety laws
In the case of on-the-job injury, an employee in Kentucky is eligible for worker’s compensation.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act, which is a federal law, require employers in Kentucky to provide a safe workplace and a non-hazardous working environment. Kentucky allows employees to conceal carry in their vehicles. However, it prohibits employees from texting while driving.
If employees feel that their employees have committed safety violations, then they have the right to ask for an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection.
Leaving a job in Kentucky
Employees in Kentucky can leave their job at their own will. However, employees cannot be given the pink slip for discriminatory reasons.