Compliance Watch:
What are my overtime rights in Florida?

June 11th 2024

Workers in Kentucky are entitled to compensation for all hours worked, including overtime. These rights are safeguarded under federal and state laws, although there are notable exceptions to these rules. It’s crucial for Iowa employees to be aware of their overtime rights to ensure they are not exploited or coerced into working additional hours without proper compensation. This article explores Iowa’s overtime regulations, discussing employee entitlements, exceptions, and exemptions, and addresses common queries regarding these laws.

This Article Covers

Understanding Overtime in Kentucky
Common Questions About Overtime in Kentucky 
Legal Working Hours in Florida 
Overtime Eligibility in Florida 
    Overtime Payment Calculations in Kentucky
      Receiving Overtime Payment in Kentucky
      Violations of Overtime Law in Kentucky

      Understanding Overtime in Kentucky

      Is overtime pay mandatory in Kentucky?

      Yes, overtime pay is mandatory in Kentucky. 

      The overtime rate of 1.5 times an employee’s regular pay must be paid in two specific scenarios: when they work more than 40 hours in a single workweek, and when they work on the seventh consecutive day of that workweek. Employers who do not comply with these requirements may be in violation of both Kentucky wage laws and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

      When do I qualify for overtime pay in Kentucky?

      Non-exempt employees in Kentucky qualify  for overtime pay under the following conditions:

      • Hours Worked Over 40 in a Workweek: If you work more than 40 hours in a single workweek, you are entitled to receive overtime pay.
      • Seventh Consecutive Day: If you work on the seventh consecutive day in the same workweek, any hours worked on that day qualify for overtime pay.

       It’s important to note that some employees are classified as exempt from these overtime requirements, primarily those in executive, administrative, professional, and some outside sales positions, who meet specific criteria related to job duties and salary levels as outlined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 

      How much is overtime pay in Kentucky?

      Employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek or seven days in a row are entitled to overtime pay, which is calculated at 1.5 times the employee’s regular hourly rate. In Kentucky, the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, resulting in an overtime minimum wage of $10.88 per hour. 

      Which laws govern overtime in Kentucky?

      In Kentucky, overtime is governed by both state and federal laws. The Kentucky state laws that regulate overtime (KRS Chapter 337 and 803 KAR 1:070) align closely with the FLSA, but include additional provisions specific to the state. For example, Kentucky law also requires employers to pay overtime for hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of a workweek, regardless of the total number of hours worked that week. This is an extension not specifically required by the FLSA.

      Under the FLSA:

      • Employees covered by the FLSA who are not exempt must receive overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek, at a rate of at least one-and-a-half times their regular pay rates.
      • There are no limits to the number of hours employees 16 and older may work in any workweek.
      • Overtime pay for work on weekends, holidays, or regular days of rest is not required unless overtime hours are worked on such days.
      • A workweek under the FLSA is defined as a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours, equating to seven consecutive 24-hour periods. This does not have to align with the calendar week and can start on any day and at any hour as established by the employer.
      • Employers can establish different workweeks for different employees or groups of employees.
      • Averaging hours over two or more weeks for overtime calculation is not permitted under the FLSA.
      • Overtime pay earned in a specific workweek must be paid on the regular payday for the pay period in which the wages were earned.

      Further information about overtime in Kentucky can be found in Kentucky Overtime Laws.

      Common Questions About Overtime in Kentucky

      Do employers have to pay overtime in Kentucky?

      Yes, employers in Kentucky are required to pay overtime under both federal and state laws. According to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Kentucky state law, non-exempt employees must be paid overtime at a rate of one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked beyond 40 in a single workweek and 7 consecutive days of work. 

      Employers are subject to these FLSA requirements if their annual sales surpass $500,000 or if they participate in interstate commerce activities. Though some small businesses might presume they are exempt, the definition of ‘interstate commerce’ is extensive, encompassing activities like telecommunications, mail services, or handling goods bound for other states.

      Employers must adhere to these regulations to ensure employees are compensated fairly for overtime, with the more favorable provision applying in cases where federal and state laws differ.

      Can an employee refuse to work overtime in Kentucky?

      Mandatory overtime is legal in Kentucky, as long as employers comply with Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requirements. Under mandatory overtime, an employee refuses to work overtime at the risk of facing disciplinary action, including termination. Kentucky employers do not even need to seek an employee’s consent for overtime.

      There is no federal or Kentucky state law limiting the maximum number of hours an employee may be required to work in a week. Instead, the federal requirement is to compensate non-exempt employees for the extra hours worked at a rate of 1.5 times their regular wage. 

      Note that even though an employer can legally terminate employees who refuse to work overtime, they must adhere to any terms set by employment contracts or collective bargaining agreements if the employees are union members. 

      Can I take comp time instead of overtime pay in Kentucky?

      Some employers in Kentucky offer compensatory time, also known as comp time, to their employees as an alternative to monetary payment for overtime work, upon the employee’s request. 

      The option to take comp time instead of overtime pay depends on the sector of employment. Public sector employees may receive comp time at a rate of one-and-a-half hours for each hour of overtime worked, in line with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Whereas private sector employees are generally not allowed to receive comp time as a substitute for overtime pay; instead, they must be paid overtime.

      Can I get overtime pay in Kentucky without employer approval?

      Yes, in Kentucky, you can get overtime pay without employer approval. It is a federal requirement to pay employees for overtime work, whether it’s authorized or not. Even if a company policy requires managerial approval for overtime, employers are still legally obligated to pay for any overtime worked, as the FLSA classifies unrequested but allowed work as compensable. Nevertheless, employees may still be subject to disciplinary action for violating company policies regarding overtime approval.

      Does Kentucky have double-time pay?

      Double-time pay means that an employee is compensated at twice their regular rate of pay, rather than the standard overtime rate of one-and-a-half times the regular rate. As the US Department of Labor does not define or mandate double-time pay at the federal level,  employers in most states, including Kentucky, are not obligated to provide double-time compensation for overtime hours.

      What is working ‘off-the-clock’ in Kentucky?

      Working “off the clock” refers to any time an employee engages in work-related tasks without compensation. It is an illegal practice under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which mandates that non-exempt employees must be paid for all time they are “suffered or permitted to work,”. Consequently, if an employee works beyond their scheduled hours, such as starting early or staying late to complete tasks without pay, this constitutes off-the-clock work.

      Common Types of ‘Off-the-Clock’ Work:

      • Preparing worksites, setting up stores or restaurants before opening.
      • Completing post-shift tasks like cleaning up or dropping off equipment.
      • Administrative tasks performed outside of scheduled work hours, such as paperwork or work-related meetings.
      • Correcting or redoing work outside regular hours.
      • Waiting for work assignments during supposed downtime.

      What are common ways employers avoid paying overtime in Kentucky?

      It’s not uncommon for employers to attempt to sidestep overtime payments, miscalculate work hours, or simply misinterpret the regulations surrounding overtime compensation. Regardless of the reason, employees are entitled to back pay for any earnings they were wrongly denied. Below are some common practices that breach overtime regulations:

      • Requiring Off-the-Clock Work: Employers may ask employees to perform tasks before or after their shifts without compensation. This includes tasks like setting up a workspace or answering calls, which should be paid work time.
      • Averaging Hours Worked: Employers sometimes average the hours over a bi-weekly period to avoid paying overtime. For example, they might schedule an employee for 50 hours one week and 30 the next, wrongly paying them as if they worked two standard 40-hour weeks.
      • Misclassifying Employees: Some workers are incorrectly classified as salaried and earning over $684 per week, exempting them from overtime. Others may be wrongly classified as salaried under this threshold to skip overtime payments.
      • Providing Comp Time Instead of Overtime Pay: Some employers offer compensatory time off (“comp time”) instead of overtime pay. This could involve giving a day off in exchange for extra hours worked, maintaining the total hours under 40 for the week, which is illegal for private sector employees. 

      Can you work seven days in a row in Kentucky?

      In Kentucky, employees may work seven consecutive days as long as they are compensated accordingly. Kentucky law specifically requires that any hours worked on the seventh consecutive day are compensated at an overtime rate of 1.5 times the employee’s regular hourly rate. This provision is part of Kentucky’s 7th Day Overtime Law, which defines a “workweek” as either a calendar week or any sequence of seven consecutive days set by the employer, provided it is established permanently and not as a means to circumvent overtime regulations.

      How many ten-hour days can you work in a row in Kentucky?

      In Kentucky, there are no state laws that restrict the number of consecutive ten-hour days adults can work. The primary legal requirement is that any hours worked over 40 in a workweek or seven days in a row must be compensated at an overtime rate of one and a half times the regular pay rate, in accordance with both Kentucky and federal law (FLSA). Therefore, adults in Kentucky are permitted to work multiple ten-hour days consecutively as long as they are properly paid for any overtime. However, there are restrictions for minors; those under 18 can only work up to 8 hours on non-school days, and minors aged 14-15 are limited to a maximum of 40 hours per week.

      What are full-time hours in Kentucky?

      The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) defines full-time as 30 hours of work or more per week, or at least 130 hours per month. However, in Kentucky, the classification of employees as full-time or part-time can vary based on an organization’s own policies. Typically, they define full-time employment as working 35-40 hours across a seven-day workweek. Thus, while the ACA provides a broad federal standard, individual employers in Kentucky may apply different criteria based on their internal definitions.

      How many hours straight can you legally work in Kentucky?

      In Kentucky, there are no state-specific limitations on the number of hours adults can be required to work per day. Rather than setting hourly limits, the FLSA ensures that non-exempt employees receive overtime compensation for extra hours worked. However, there are some exceptions:

      Child Labor Restrictions:

      • Minors under 16 are restricted to 3 hours on school days and 18 hours during a school week.
      • During school breaks, they can work up to 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week.

      Industry-Specific Regulations:

      • Transportation Industry: Regulated by the US Department of Transportation to prevent driver fatigue.
        • Truck and bus drivers have maximum driving hours and mandatory rest periods set by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
      • Healthcare Industry: Particularly for doctors and nurses to prevent caregiver fatigue.
        • Medical residents are limited to an 80-hour workweek, averaged over four weeks, with no single shift exceeding 24 hours.
      • Aviation Industry: Pilots’ hours are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
        • Pilots have a maximum of 9 hours of flight time allowed during a 24-hour period.

      Is overtime after eight hours or 40 hours in Kentucky?

      In Kentucky, overtime pay is calculated based on a 40-hour workweek, consistent with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), rather than the number of hours worked in a single day. Employees are entitled to receive 1.5 times their regular pay rate for hours worked beyond 40 in a week or on the seventh day, under KRS 337.285.

      Does working on the weekend qualify for overtime pay in Kentucky?

      No, working on weekends does not automatically entitle an employee to overtime pay. State and federal overtime laws in Kentucky do not offer special rates for weekend, holiday, or night shift work; overtime compensation is consistent across all days of the week. However, if an employee works seven consecutive days within the same workweek, they must receive overtime pay at one-and-a-half times their regular rate for all hours worked on the seventh day. 

      How many hours-off between shifts is required in Kentucky?

      There is no federal law that specifies a minimum amount of time required between shifts for workers. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) notes that any work over 40 hours per week is considered “extended and unusual,” it does not mandate a specific rest period between shifts. Similarly, Kentucky does not have state laws enforcing rest periods between shifts. The only exception is for employees in certain regulated industries or those covered by contracts outlining guidelines on required shifts.

      What does ‘hours-worked’ include in Kentucky?

      Kentucky wage and hour laws require employers to compensate employees for all hours worked, which includes work done during regular shifts, outside regular hours, or away from the workplace. Key considerations include:

      • Waiting Time: This can be compensable depending on the situation. If an employee is engaged to wait (such as a secretary waiting for tasks or a firefighter waiting for an alarm), this is considered work time.
      • On-Call Time: If an employee must remain on call at the workplace, it’s usually considered work time. Being on call at home doesn’t generally count as work time unless they are restricted to work duties.
      • Rest and Meal Periods: Short rest breaks (usually 20 minutes or less) are typically paid and counted as work time. Meal periods (usually 30 minutes or more) are not compensable if the employee is completely relieved of duties.
      • Sleeping Time: If an employee’s shift is less than 24 hours, sleeping time may be counted as working time. For shifts of 24 hours or more, up to 8 hours of sleeping time can be excluded from work hours, provided the employee can take an uninterrupted sleep of at least 5 hours.
      • Lectures, Meetings, and Training: Attendance is not counted as working time if it’s voluntary, outside regular hours, not job-related, and no other work is performed concurrently.
      • Travel Time: The compensability of travel time varies:
        • Home to Work Travel: Regular travel from home to work is not considered work time.
        • Special One-Day Assignments in Another City: Travel time is considered work time, minus the time the employee would normally spend commuting.
        • Travel That is All in a Day’s Work: Time spent traveling as part of the employee’s principal activity, such as moving between job sites, is work time.
        • Travel Away from Home Community: Travel that cuts across the employee’s workday is considered work time, even on nonworking days.

      What is the most hours a salaried employee can work in Kentucky? 

      In Kentucky, salaried employees can work more than 40 hours per week without specific limits on their working hours. These employees are often exempt from overtime compensation, meaning their pay does not increase for hours worked beyond 40 in a week. Kentucky employers have the flexibility to set working hours for salaried employees, who are expected to complete all assigned tasks per their employment contract regardless of the hours it takes.

      What is the maximum number of hours an hourly employee can work in Kentucky?

      In Kentucky, there are no laws capping the maximum hours an hourly employee can work in a week. However, any hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek must be compensated at a rate of 1.5 times the regular hourly wage.

      As for minors, Kentucky has set working hour limits to ensure their education and welfare are not compromised:

      Ages 14 and 15:

      • Allowed to work up to 3 hours on a school day, 8 hours on non-school days.
      • Limited to 18 hours per week during school terms and 40 hours during school breaks.
      • Permitted to work from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, extended to 9:00 PM from June 1 to Labor Day.

      Ages 16 and 17:

      • May work up to 6 hours on school days and 8 hours on non-school days, with a weekly maximum of 30 hours if school is in session.
      • Working hours can extend from 6:00 AM to 10:30 PM before a school day and until 1:00 AM before a non-school day during school terms.

      Overtime Eligibility in Kentucky

      Who is eligible for overtime pay in Kentucky?

      Federal law classifies employees as either exempt or non-exempt from receiving overtime compensation. Specifically, the FLSA ensures overtime protection for all first responders such as police, paramedics, and firefighters. Futhermore, nurses and paralegals, who might typically be exempt, are also granted overtime protections because of the potentially long and demanding hours they work.

      Who is exempt from overtime pay in Kentucky?

      Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), certain employees are exempt from overtime pay requirements:

      • Executive, Administrative, and Professional Employees: These employees must earn at least $684 per week and primarily perform executive, administrative, or professional job duties.
      • Computer Employees
      • Outside Sales Employees
      • Certain Transportation Workers: Employees involved in interstate commerce or in the operation of motor vehicles over certain weight limits, who meet specific regulatory exemptions.

      Kentucky state law follows the FLSA but adds specific provisions and clarifications:

      • Domestic Service Workers
      • Non-Profit Childcare Facilities: Workers in licensed non-profit facilities providing care for dependent, abused, or neglected children do not qualify for overtime under certain conditions.
      • Mechanics, Parts Clerks, and Salespersons

      Kentucky requires that any employee who works seven consecutive days in a single workweek be paid overtime for the seventh day, with some exceptions:

      • Agricultural Workers
      • Seasonal Amusement or Recreational Establishments: Workers in seasonal amusement parks or recreational businesses operating less than seven months a year.
      • Small Telephone Carriers: Employees of small telephone exchanges with fewer than 500 subscribers are exempt from seventh-day overtime.

      Can salaried employees get overtime pay in Kentucky?

      Yes, salaried employees in Kentucky can receive overtime pay if they are considered non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). To be exempt from overtime, salaried employees must earn at least $684 per week and meet specific job duty requirements related to executive, administrative, or professional roles. If salaried employees do not meet these exemption criteria, they must be compensated at a rate of 1.5 times their regular pay rate for any hours worked over 40 in a single workweek or on the seventh consecutive day.

      Overtime Payment Calculations in Kentucky

      What is my regular rate of pay in Kentucky?

      In Kentucky, the regular rate of pay for employees must be at least the state minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The following is not included in the regular rate:

      • Non-Performance Related Payments: Payments that do not depend on hours worked, production, or efficiency (e.g., holiday gifts, t-shirts, certain bonuses) are excluded from the regular rate.
      • Downtime Payments: Payments for occasional periods when no work is performed due to leave (e.g., vacation, sick leave) are also excluded. This includes pay for unused leave and holiday work, which is compensable but not included in the regular rate calculation.
      • Reimbursements for Business Expenses: Costs like travel or supplies that are reimbursed by the employer do not count towards the regular rate.
      • Meal Break Payments: Payments for meal breaks are excluded from the regular rate unless there is an agreement to count them as work hours.

      For hourly workers, the regular rate of pay is simply their hourly wage. For salaried, piece-rate, or commission-based employees, the regular rate of pay is calculated differently:

      Salaried Employees:

      1. Multiply the monthly salary by 12 to get the annual salary.
      2. Divide the annual salary by 52 to determine the weekly salary.
      3. Divide the weekly salary by 40 (the typical number of hours in a workweek) to find the regular hourly rate.

      Piecework or Commission Employees:

      1. Divide the total earnings for the week by the total hours worked to find the regular hourly rate.
      2. For group piecework, calculate the group rate by dividing the total number of pieces completed by the number of people in the group. Multiply this rate by the hours each individual worked to calculate their regular rate of pay.

      How do you calculate overtime in Kentucky?

      Under both the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Kentucky labor laws, overtime compensation is set at 1.5 times the regular rate of pay, often referred to as ‘time-and-a-half’. This is calculated using the following methods:

      • Hourly Employees: Pay 1.5 times the regular hourly rate for any hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek or on the seventh consecutive day.
      • Hourly Plus Bonus and/or Commission: To calculate the regular rate, add the total earnings from hourly pay, bonuses, and commissions for the week, then divide by the total hours worked. For overtime hours, pay 1.5 times this adjusted regular rate.
      • Salaried Employees: Determine the regular rate by dividing the salary by the number of hours the salary is intended to cover.
        • If the salary covers less than 40 hours: Pay the regular rate for each hour up to 40, then pay 1.5 times the regular rate for hours over 40.
        • If the salary covers exactly 40 hours: Pay 1.5 times the regular rate for any hours worked beyond 40.

      It is important to remember that hours should not be averaged over two or more workweeks.

      How is overtime taxed in Kentucky?

      In Kentucky, overtime compensation is taxed just like regular income, without any special tax rates applied specifically to overtime. The amount of tax you pay is based on your tax bracket, which is determined by your taxable income and filing status. If your overtime pay substantially boosts your gross income, you might shift into a higher tax bracket, leading to higher taxes on your total income for that period. 

      Receiving Overtime Payment in Kentucky

      How is overtime paid in Kentucky?

      In Kentucky, employers can issue overtime wages using the same methods as regular wages, which include payment via cash, check, direct deposit, or payroll debit cards, with some conditions:

      • Direct Deposit: Employers can require direct deposit as long as employees can access their full wages on payday without additional costs.
      • Payroll Debit Card: Employers are allowed to pay via payroll debit cards as long as employees can withdraw their entire net pay on payday without fees. 

      When do I receive my overtime paycheck in Kentucky?

      In Kentucky, overtime pay must be handled the same way as regular wages. State employees are typically paid on the 15th and 30th of each month; if these dates fall on a weekend, they are paid the preceding Friday, and if on a state holiday, the pay is issued on the previous workday. 

      Employees should receive their wages at least twice a month, no later than 18 days after the end of the pay period. If the precise overtime amount is unknown by the pay period end, it must be paid as soon as possible thereafter or by the next payday after the amount is determined. 

      Violations of Overtime Law in Kentucky

      What if my employer refuses to pay me overtime in Kentucky?

      In Kentucky, if an employer fails to pay overtime wages, you are within your right to file a wage complaint with the Kentucky Department of Labor or the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. If the case goes to court, employers may be liable to pay liquidated damages and cover attorney’s fees. Employees have up to five years to file labor law claims for back wages.

      To file a complaint, employees should use the Employment Wage Complaint form from the Kentucky Department of Labor. This can be done with or without an attorney. If you file a complaint directly in court, it must be within six months of the wage dispute.

      What is the penalty for failing to pay overtime in Kentucky?

      Employers who repeatedly or willfully breach minimum wage or overtime rules may face a civil penalty up to $1,000 per violation. Willful violations might also lead to criminal charges with potential fines of up to $10,000 and possible imprisonment upon a second conviction. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) offers several recovery methods for unpaid wages:

      • Supervised payment of back wages by the Wage and Hour Division.
      • The Secretary of Labor can sue for back wages and an equal amount as liquidated damages.
      • Employees can file private lawsuits for back pay, liquidated damages, attorney fees, and court costs.
      • The Secretary of Labor can seek an injunction to prevent further violations.

      Employees cannot sue if they’ve received back wages under Wage and Hour supervision or if the Secretary of Labor has already sued to recover the wages. There’s a 2-year statute of limitations on back pay claims, extending to 3 years for willful violations.

      How can I file a wage claim for overtime in Kentucky?

      To file a wage complaint in Kentucky, fill in the Employment Wage Complaint Form available from the Kentucky Department of Labor, with your information information and documentation including pay statements and hours worked.

       Alternatively, you can file a claim with the US Department of Labor (DOL) by gathering relevant information and evidence, filling out an online form, or calling their helpline at 1-866-487-9243. A DOL representative will then assist in determining the best action to take. There is a two-year statute of limitations for wage complaints at the federal level, extended to three years for intentional violations.

      Can employers retaliate against employees for making a wage claim in Kentucky?

      No, it is illegal for employers to retaliate against an employee for filing or threatening to file a wage claim, as per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Kentucky Wage and Hour Act (KRS Chapter 337). The FLSA explicitly prohibits any form of discrimination against employees who file a wage complaint or participate in related investigations. Affected employees can file a retaliation complaint with the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division or pursue legal action independently to seek reinstatement, recover lost wages, and obtain liquidated damages. Additionally, under KRS 337.990, Kentucky law penalizes employers who retaliate by discharging or discriminating against employees for complaining about, instituting proceedings related to, or testifying in cases concerning wage and hour laws, with penalties ranging from $100 to $1,000.

      Learn more about Kentucky Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

      Important Cautionary Note

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