Kentucky Overtime Laws

Kentucky has two main state law provisions covering overtime law. The first provision is consistent with the federal Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA) in that employees must be paid 1.5 their regular pay rate for any time spent working over 40 hours in one workweek. However, Kentucky does not require overtime to be paid for hours in excess of eight hours per day or on weekends or holidays.

The second provision of Kentucky overtime law is unique in that it requires employees to be paid overtime (1.5 times their regular rate of pay) if they work seven days in a single workweek. Exempted from this requirement are supervisors, superintendents, foremen and officers whose primary job is to supervise other workers. In addition, this Kentucky state law provision only applies when an employee is allowed to work more than 40 hours in a single workweek in the first place.

Kentucky Overtime Law Summary

This chart highlights key provisions of Kentucky overtime law.

State and Federal Statutes

Overtime Calculation Methods:

  • Hourly: Pay time and a half (1.5 times the regular rate) for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per workweek. If the employee works seven days in one workweek, they they must be paid time and a half for all time worked on the seventh day of labor.
  • Hourly Plus Bonus and/or Commission: Regular rate = Total hours times hourly rate, plus the workweek equivalent of the bonus and/or commission, divided by the total hours in the workweek; then pay half of that regular rate for each overtime hour.
  • Salary: Regular rate = Salary divided by the number of hours the salary is intended to compensate.
    • If the regular hours are less than 40: Add regular rate for each hour up to 40, then pay time and a half for hours over 40.
    • If the regular hours = 40: Pay time and a half for hours over 40.

Exemptions

  • The following classes of employees are not entitled to overtime pay under Kentucky Law (partial list):
    • Employees who work in sales or in retail stores
    • Employees whose work tasks are primarily administrative
    • Salaried professional employees whose jobs require specialized skill and knowledge (employers are not allowed to pay minimum-wage workers a salary to avoid paying them overtime, however)
    • Employees of restaurants, hotels or motels

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Nuances of Kentucky Overtime Laws

With respect to the second provision mentioned above, if an employee works seven days in a workweek, then they must be paid 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for all time worked on the seventh day of labor. Furthermore, the employer can credit this seventh day overtime pay against the regular amount of overtime paid to the employee for hours worked in excess of 40 hours a week. In other words, the employer only owes the employee overtime pay from this seventh day or from hours worked above 40 hours in one week.

Exemptions from Overtime in Kentucky

Under federal law and Kentucky state law, the occupations or employees that are exempt from overtime laws include:

  • Employees who work in sales or in retail stores
  • Employees whose work tasks are primarily administrative
  • Salaried professional employees whose jobs require specialized skill and knowledge (employers are not allowed to pay minimum-wage workers a salary to avoid paying them overtime, however)
  • Employees of restaurants, hotels or motels
  • Employees whose function is to provide twenty-four (24) hour residential care on the employer's premises in a parental role to children who are primarily dependent, neglected, and abused and who are in the care of private nonprofit child caring facilities licensed by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
  • Anyone employed by a third-party employer or agency other than that person's own family or household to provide in-home companionship services for a sick, convalescing, or elderly person, with companionship services being defined as "services which provide in-home fellowship, care, and protection for a person who, because of advanced age or physical or mental infirmity, cannot care for his or her own needs"

Employees exempt from the unique Kentucky state law provision of having to be paid overtime on the seventh day if an employee works seven days in one week include:

  • Employees of telephone exchanges having less than 500 subscribers
  • Stenographers, bookkeepers, or technical assistants of professions such as doctors, accountants, lawyers, and other professions licensed under the laws of Kentucky
  • Any employees subject to the Federal Railway Labor Act and seamen or persons engaged in operating boats or other water transportation facilities upon navigable streams
  • Persons engaged in icing railroad cars
  • Common carriers under the supervision of the Kentucky Department of Vehicle Regulation

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