Wage and Hour

1.         How do I calculate wages owed to employees?

ANSWER:     No employee shall receive less than minimum wage, with the exception of certain full-time students, disabled workers and a few other classes of workers.  An employer must pay the agreed upon wage for all time in which an employee is required to be on the employer’s premises or at a prescribed work station, or on duty.  Travel time, on-call time, and waiting-time have special rules that an employer needs to examine carefully.

State law requires that an employee be given prescribed meal periods and break periods.  Certain types of training and meeting attendance may be excluded from working time.  The employee must be paid at his/her regular rate of pay that was agreed upon by the employer and employee.

2          When must I pay overtime?

ANSWER:     Unless an employee is exempt from overtime, an employer must pay time and one-half for all hours in excess of a given 40 hour work week period.

Some workers are exempt from the requirement that the employer pay time and one-half, such as executive employees, administrative employees, professional employees, outside sales persons, computer employees, and other “highly” compensated employees.

An employer should analyze the actual work done by the employee in question when determining whether he/she is exempt from overtime.

3.         When must I pay my employees?

ANSWER:     Non-exempt employees must be compensated no less than every two (2) weeks and within eighteen (18) days of their last day of employment.  The employer is not permitted to deduct expenses from an employee’s pay unless the employer obtains a written agreement signed by the employee to do so.

Most employers must provide a statement containing any wage deductions taken from salaries at the time the employee is paid.  Failure to pay wages and overtime for non-exempt employees may subject the employer to a penalty equal to two times (2x) the wages owed, plus attorneys’ fees.

4.         What are “wages”?

ANSWER:     The Kentuckky Wage & Hour Act defines “wages” to include “any compensation due by reason of (his) employment, including salaries, commissions, vested vacation pay, overtime pay, severance or dismissal pay, earned bonuses and other similar advantages agreed upon by the employer and the employee, or provided to the employee as an established policy”.

Employers are advised to review “established” wage and hour policies regarding commissions for those involved in sales, vacation pay carryover and other policies.