Nobody ever said running a business was a walk in the park. As an employer, you have a lot of balls in the air, and compliance is just one of them. One really, really important one that, if dropped, could cost you a whole lot of money.
In addition to federal regulations, each state has their own share of employment-related laws that business owners need to be aware of. Here, we’re highlighting some of these key state-specific requirements and laws, and offering guidance to help you keep up.
Bear in mind, this list is not comprehensive, and there may be local or industry-specific employment requirements that your business needs to comply with. It’s best to consult with counsel to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, as Justworks does not provide legal advice.
Payroll Tax Accounts
Because Justworks reports state unemployment taxes on behalf of customers who utilize Justworks’ PEO services, Justworks may need to collect account information such as your account number and current rate. You can read more about it here: State Unemployment Insurance.
Recruiting & Hiring Practices
Employers with 15 or more employees in Kentucky must provide each new hire with a written notice of their rights under the Kentucky Pregnant Worker Act.
Kentucky Commission on Human Rights: Equal Employment Opportunity Notice
When classifying workers as employees or independent contractors, there are a few things to consider, including the different tests that apply under different federal and state employment laws, and potential penalties and other liabilities for misclassifying employees as independent contractors. Certain state laws apply tests that are more stringent than the guidance provided by federal agencies, such as the IRS and Department of Labor, to apply in conjunction with federal laws.
You can read our general Help Center article on contractors, and view information on how to determine if someone is a contractor or employee in Kentucky in the relevant section at the link below.
Mineral*: Kentucky Independent Contractors
Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance: Misclassification information
Kentucky rules on overtime and minimum wage can be found here: Kentucky Workplace Standards.
Kentucky requires employers to pay overtime when employees work seven consecutive days in the workweek. Kentucky’s “seventh-day” law applies when an employee (i) works all seven days in a single workweek and (ii) works more than 40 hours in that workweek. When those two conditions are met, the employee is entitled to time and a half for all hours he or she works on the seventh day.
Read more about how Justworks calculates overtime requirements in Kentucky here.
Meal and Rest Laws
Employees must be given a paid 10-minute break for each 4-hour period of work. In addition, subject to limited exceptions, employees must receive a meal break occurring between the 3rd and 5th hours of work unless an alternative agreement has been mutually agreed upon. A duty-free meal break may be unpaid.
Kentucky requires every employer to allow up to 6 weeks of leave to employees for the purposes of adopting a child under the age of 10, subject to certain exceptions.
There is currently no state-wide parental leave law that covers all new parents more broadly, but if employers have an internal parental leave policy for biological parents, they must provide these same benefits to adoptive parents.Mineral*: Kentucky Adoptive Leave
Kentucky Statute: Adoptive leave
Harassment & Discrimination
In addition to protections under federal law, Kentucky law prohibits employment discrimination based on membership in any protected class by employers covered under Kentucky’s anti-discrimination laws.Mineral*: Kentucky Employment Discrimination and Accommodations
Kentucky Commission on Human Rights: Frequently Asked Questions
Kentucky employers should familiarize themselves with specific compliance issues and certain key documents for separating employees.
Employers must pay all owed wages by the next normal pay period or 14 days following the separation, whichever occurs later. This applies to both voluntary and involuntary separations.
Kentucky employers are not explicitly required to pay out vacation upon separation, but vacation must be paid if dictated by the employer policy or past practice of the employer. Employers should clearly set forth in writing any policy with respect to unused vacation.
Mineral*: Kentucky Separation
Business Closings and Layoffs
The Federal WARN Act imposes certain notice and other obligations on covered businesses before conducting large-scale business closures, layoffs, or relocations. Kentucky employers who may be required to file notice can do so with the state’s Division of Workforce and Employment Services. For more information, visit the links below.
U.S. Department of Labor: Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act Advisor
Mineral*: Kentucky Layoffs
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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.