Wage and Hour

Frequently Asked Questions:

1.         What type of “wages” must the Employer pay?

ANSWER:     State law includes “wages” as all compensation due to the employee by reason of his/her employment, including “salaries, commissions, vested vacation pay, overtime pay, severance or dismissal pay, earned bonuses and any other similar advantages agreed upon by the employer and employee, or provided to the employees as an established policy”.

2.         When must my Employer pay my wages?

ANSWER:     An employer is generally required to pay wages every fourteen (14) days and within eighteen (18) days of the last day of employment by the employee.

3.         Must my Employer pay overtime for any hours worked over 40-hours per week?

ANSWER:     Yes, unless the employee is an exempt employee from overtime by virtue of their actual work.  White Collar employees who are exempt from receiving time and one-half are:  executive employees, administrative employees, professional employees, outside sales persons, computer employees, and other “highly” compensated employees.  Kentucky and Federal laws look past job titles and examines the actual employee’s duties in determining whether an employee is truly exempt.

Non-exempt workers must receive overtime for any and all hours in excess of a given 40 hour work week period.

4.         How much time must the Employer provide for lunch breaks and rest periods?

ANSWER:     The employer must provide, per 8-hour shift, one thirty (30) minute lunch break and two (2) additional rest periods during the same 8-hour shift.  The rest periods of are compensable to the employee, a lunch break may not be compensable.

5.         Is travel time compensable?

ANSWER:     Travel time may be compensable at the regular hourly rate under certain circumstances.  Travel to and from work is generally not compensable, but travel required by the work is generally compensable.

6.         What are my rights if my Employer fails to pay wages properly?

ANSWER:     Both Kentucky and Federal laws permit employees to institute an independent action(s) against the employer to recover wages owed.  In certain circumstances, an employer may be required to pay two times (2x) the wages owed, plus attorneys’ fees.  Employees may also contact the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Department of Wage and Hour and the U.S. Department of Labor.  Both Federal and State departments of labor employ investigators who can seek the unpaid wages on the employee’s behalf.

For large amounts of “wages” owed, employees may benefit from consulting with competent counsel.