Overview of Common Labor Laws in Kentucky

Whether you are an employer or employee in Kentucky, it is essential to know the common labor laws for your state. As an employer, the knowledge can help reduce or eliminate potential liability issues. For employees, it ensures a basic understanding for their employee rights. Generally, when a state does not address a specific labor law issue, such as holiday pay or vacation pay, etc., the state may follow The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In the state of Kentucky, some of the common labor laws are as follows:

Minimum wage:

Excluding exemptions or exceptions, the current minimum wage for Kentucky is $7.25 per hour.


Employers are required to pay overtime for hours work in excess of 40 hours worked consecutively during a work week. Using the minimum wage rate the overtime pay is $10.88. For example, the overtime rate would be calculated as time and one-half ($7.25 plus $3.63).  803 KAR 1:060

Tip wages:

Employers may pay tip wage employees $2.13 per hour if the tips received by the employee combined with the tip wage equals not more than the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Employers cannot use any or all of the tips received by the employee as or in place of paying the required minimum wage.

Rest period or breaks:

For each four hours worked consecutively, an employee is entitled to a paid 10 minute break.

Meal period:

Employers are required to provide employees a meal period either by the third hour of the work shift, and no later than the fifth hour of the shift. Employers are not required to compensate the employee for the meal period if the meal period is duty free. Meaning, the employee’s time during the meal period are not control by the employer.

Holiday pay:

Kentucky does not have a labor law addressing holiday pay. This does not suggest employers cannot offer this benefit to their employees, however, the FLSA may apply.

Child labor Laws:

Kentucky labor laws prohibit employing anyone under the age of fourteen. There are specific labor laws for minors fourteen and fifteen years of age who are enrolled in school or being home schooled. For example, minors fourteen and fifteen are allowed to work three hours per day during schools hours and work eight hours during non-schools days. However, there are certain types of jobs minors are not allowed to work. 803 KAR 1:100  

Posting requirements

Employers are required to post, in a conspicuous and accessible location, any regulations or orders related to regulations and wage and hour laws.

The overview summarizes only a few of the various labor laws imposed by the state of Kentucky. There are some labor laws Kentucky does not address such as vacation pay or holiday pay among others. Yet Kentucky employers may be required to follow the laws related to these topics in accordance to the FLSA. Labor laws do change and often, to protect your interest it is necessary to consult a lawyer who specialized in employment laws.