Kentucky Salaried Employees Laws

January 29th 2024

Within the space of employment, salaried workers constitute a particular group who receive predetermined compensation at regular intervals, often weekly or less frequent.

This article goes through the legislative terrain in Kentucky that governs the rights and responsibilities of salaried employees and their employers. It encompasses elements such as payment structures, breaks and intervals of leave, along with the categorization of employees as exempt or non-exempt.

This article covers:


Payment of Wages for Salaried Employees in Kentucky

Companies are obligated to compensate their employees at least twice per month, ensuring that payment is received within 13 days after the conclusion of each pay period. There are four accepted methods for payment: cash, direct deposit, checks, and payroll cards.

However, deductions can only be made under specific circumstances and must be documented in a statement. Employers are not allowed to withhold pay for reasons such as lost or stolen property, property damage, personal fines, cash shortages, losses from accepting bad checks, losses due to flawed work, or customer credit defaults.

Deductions are permissible only when authorized by law or with written consent from the employee. The law mandates fair compensation for all workers, and any concerns can be reported to the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims.

Employers frequently employ payroll hours tracking to oversee payment periods and authorization processes, mitigating situations involving unpaid salaries and maintaining adherence to legal requirements.

Salaried Employees Eligibility for Overtime for Kentucky

While salaried employees typically receive a predetermined salary unaffected by their actual work hours, certain non-exempt categories in Kentucky have the entitlement to extra pay if they surpass the hours their salary covers.

This grants them the eligibility for overtime compensation at a rate of 1.5 times their regular pay for any hours worked beyond their standard schedule. The details of the overtime rate vary depending on the employee’s wage bracket.

Pay for Working Overtime for Kentucky Salaried Employees

In Kentucky, overtime pay for salaried employees adheres to the guidelines outlined in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). According to the Code of Federal Regulations (29 CFR § 778.113), determining overtime for salaried employees involves considering two key factors:

  • Weekly Salary Basis: When calculating overtime for an employee on a weekly salary, the regular hourly rate is established by dividing the salary by the hours the salary is designed to cover. For instance, if an employee’s weekly salary is $350 for a 35-hour workweek, their regular pay rate would be $10/hour. During overtime, they would receive $10/hour for the initial 40 hours and $15/hour (1.5 times the overtime rate) for any additional hours worked.
  • Salary for Periods Beyond a Workweek: If the employee’s salary covers a span longer than a week, such as a month, it should be converted to an equivalent weekly wage. This is done by multiplying the monthly salary by 12 (months in a year) and then dividing by 52 (weeks in a year). Once the weekly wage is determined, the regular hourly pay rate can be calculated.

    In simpler terms:


    (Monthly salary x 12 months) / 52 weeks = Weekly Wage

    Weekly Wage / 40 hours (per workweek) = Hourly Rate

    For instance, if an employee receives a consistent monthly salary of $1,560 for a 40-hour workweek, their regular hourly rate would be $9 (as computed using the above formula).

    It’s essential to be aware that regulations permit an alternative approach to establishing the regular rate, wherein the monthly salary is divided by the number of working days and then by the hours in a typical workday. This must result in a rate that is at least equivalent to the legally mandated minimum wage.

Considering the intricacy of these calculations, employers often use tools such as overtime compliance software or even time and attendance software to simplify these computations and reduce the chance of human errors.

Exceptions to Overtime Exemptions for Kentucky Salaried Employees

Kentucky abides by federal overtime regulations, which exempt certain white-collar employees from receiving overtime compensation. To qualify for exemption, these employees must earn a minimum of $684 per week and fall into one of four categories: administration, executive, professional, or outside sales.

Kentucky also designates specific occupational groups that do not qualify for overtime pay, which include:

  • Agricultural workers
  • U.S. government employees
  • Domestic service employees working within private homes
  • Babysitters employed in the employer’s residence
  • Companions for individuals who are elderly, sick, or in recovery
  • Newspaper delivery personnel
  • Employees of non-profit camps, religious, or educational institutions operating for no more than 7 months in a year
  • Staff of 24-hour residential care facilities for dependent, abused, or neglected children
  • Employees of non-profit child-caring facilities licensed by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services
  • Residential care workers providing family caregiving for adults with mental health or intellectual disabilities, provided they’re certified by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services
  • Employees in retail, hotel, motel, restaurant, and service industries

For a more comprehensive understanding, refer to Kentucky Overtime Laws.

Violation of Salaried Employees Wages Payment in Kentucky

Wage and hour violations in Kentucky can be addressed in two avenues. The first involves submitting a complaint to the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, which will conduct an investigation and seek a resolution. Alternatively, filing a lawsuit against the employer is also an option.

Should the employee choose the legal route, Kentucky Revised Statutes stipulate that the employer is legally obligated to compensate the affected employee for the entire owed amount, encompassing wages and overtime compensation. This sum is subject to adjustment based on any payments already made by the employer to the employee. Additionally, the employer is liable to pay an equal sum as liquidated damages, effectively doubling the originally owed amount. The employer must also cover costs incurred, including reasonable attorney’s fees, in accordance with court-established guidelines and limitations.

Male and Female Salaried Employees in Kentucky

Employers are forbidden from engaging in gender-based wage discrimination within the same establishment. This entails not paying different wages for comparable work with similar requisites, regardless of an employee’s occupation. Employers in Kentucky cannot reduce employee wages to adhere to this prohibition. Additionally, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who invoke or support the enforcement of this regulation.

However, wage differences are permitted within established seniority or merit increase systems, as long as they do not discriminate based on gender. Employers governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as amended, are excluded from this if its requirements equal or surpass the state requirements. However, to be exempted, employers must submit a declaration to the Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Workplace Standards confirming their coverage under the FLSA.

Leave Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Kentucky

Kentucky’s leave policies encompass various scenarios. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers to offer 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a year for health or family needs. Employers with over 50 staff must comply. Congress expanded FMLA in 2008, adding up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave for caring for Armed Forces members.

Kentucky law mandates employers to allow jury duty leave without penalties. Voting time off must be granted, but employers can penalize if leave is misused. Military leave applies to Armed Forces, National Guard, or state militia members under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act. State law allows emergency response leave for volunteers, which can be paid or unpaid, with protection for injured responders. Witness leave offers paid/unpaid options, while adoption leave provides up to 6 weeks for paperwork and custody tasks.

Break Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Kentucky

Kentucky enforces a requirement for employers to provide employees with a meal break of a minimum of 20 minutes if their shift exceeds 7.5 hours. This break should occur between the 3rd and 5th hour of work, unless mutually agreed upon otherwise. Employers hold the discretion to decide whether to compensate employees for meal breaks.

Additionally, Kentucky mandates rest breaks for employees, necessitating a duration of at least 10 minutes for every 4 hours worked.

Deductions from Exempt Employees’ Salary in Kentucky

Employers are prohibited from retaining any portion of an employee’s agreed wage rate, except in instances where local, state, or federal law mandates such deductions, or when the employee has provided written consent for specific deductions like insurance premiums or medical dues.

Other permissible deductions, not undermining the established standard wage determined through collective bargaining or wage agreements, are also allowed.

Additionally, deductions for union dues are permissible under the condition of joint wage agreements or collective bargaining contracts.

Certain deductions, including fines, cash shortages, breakage, losses from dishonored checks accepted by employees, and damages unrelated to willful misconduct, are not permitted to be deducted from employee wages as per Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS 337.060).

Modern time-clock software now includes features for calculating breaks and automated deductions, assisting employers in preventing legal violations while ensuring accurate payroll deductions.

Termination of Employment for Salaried Employees in Kentucky

Kentucky adheres to the “employment-at-will” principle, granting employers the authority to terminate employees without cause, and allowing employees to resign without facing legal consequences.

Kentucky legislation mandates that employers furnish terminated employees with a final paycheck, encompassing all outstanding wages and benefits. This final payment must be disbursed either on the subsequent regular payday or within two weeks following separation.

Learn more about Kentucky Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

When making this guide we have tried to make it accurate but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred for use of this guide.