Kentucky labor laws don't distinguish much between the rights of salaried employees and hourly workers, except when it comes to overtime and on-call time.
Both Kentucky Revised Statutes and Kentucky Administrative Regulations contain rules about workers' rights. The statutes are officially abbreviated as KRS if from the revised statutes and KAR if from the administrative regulations. Although Kentucky labor laws make few distinctions between the rights of salaried employees and those of hourly workers, the state does have regulations on the books concerning overtime pay, work schedules of salaried employees and on-call time, among other aspects of work life.
Kentucky Overtime Regulations
Typically, salaried employees are not eligible for overtime pay. Employees are considered "on salary" if they are paid a minimum amount each pay period regardless of the number of hours worked. If you are switched from an hourly position to a salaried one, this does not always mean you do not qualify for overtime pay; as the Kentucky Labor Cabinet notes, some salaried employees are eligible for overtime pay if the base salary does not equal minimum wages considering the hours worked.
Pursuant to 803 KAR 1:060, employers can require salaried employees to work different schedules from week to week for a fixed salary as long as in the longest workweeks the hourly compensation works out to be minimum wage or greater. If a salaried employee works 30 hours one week and 70 hours the next, compensation for the 70-hour week must be $507.50 or more. This is because Kentucky's minimum wage is the same as the federal minimum, and 70 hours multiplied by $7.25 equals $507.50.
Under Kentucky law, employers compute overtime for salaried employees by dividing the number of hours normally worked into weekly salary to get the hourly rate. When overtime pay is due, this rate is then used to figure time and a half. Kentucky labor laws allow employers to exclude vacation, holiday and sick pay from total salary when figuring the hourly rate.
Comp Time in Lieu of Pay
Employers cannot force an employee who is eligible for overtime pay to take compensation time off work instead of overtime pay. However, according to KRS 337.285, county and municipal employees have the right to ask for compensating time instead of overtime pay by submitting the request in writing to employers.
Kentucky's seventh-day overtime law is distinct from the state's minimum wage statutes. This particular law requires the employer to pay time and a half for a seventh day of work in one workweek provided the employee has been allowed to work a 40-hour week. However, KRS 337.050 excludes employees whose primary job responsibility is in a supervisory role over other employees. Often supervisory jobs are held by salaried employees and thus are excluded from the seventh-day benefit.
Kentucky labor laws regarding on-call time follow federal regulations. According to 803 KAR 1:065, employees who must remain at the work location while on call are considered to be working and must be paid accordingly. An employee on call who must simply provide contact information about where she can be reached is not considered working. Federal guidelines state that if the employee is hampered from engaging in personal activities, such as through excess phone calls or interruptions, the employee is considered to be working.
- In situations where Kentucky does not have laws on the books covering employee rights, federal law prevails. If both state and federal laws apply to a specific situation, the provision that best protects employee rights takes precedence.