2019 Kentucky Labor Law Update

The following are new labor laws in Kentucky and how you can best prepare for them. These are effective January 1, 2019 unless noted:

Law- Labor Law Postings: Kentucky’s Division of Wages and Hours updated the mandatory Child Labor Laws and Wage Discrimination postings. Both postings must be displayed in a conspicuous location or area where notices to employees are customarily displayed.

These posters reflect changes that allow minors who are 16 and 17 years old to work up to 32.5 hours in a week, when school is in session, if a parent or legal guardian gives written permission. Additionally, minors 16 and 17 years old who have such written permission may work from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. preceding a school day. On days not preceding a school day, they may work until 1 a.m.

Rules for minors 16 and 17 years old working 40 hours per week have not changed. They are still required to have written permission from a parent or legal guardian and written certification from the principal or head of their school that they have at least a 2.0 grade point average for the most recent grading period.

How to Prepare: Post the required workplace posters, which are available here:

KY Labor Law Posters

Review and update policies related to minor work hours and conditions, as needed.

Law- Military Leave and Reemployment Rights: Governor Bevin signed House Bill 291 in April 2018 that clarifies that state military leave and reemployment rights for National Guard members are available to employees who are members of the National Guards of other states, not just Kentucky.

How to Prepare: Review and update military leave policies as needed.

Law- New Tax Law: House Bill 487, passed in the 2018 Regular Session, made various changes to Kentucky’s tax codes for the calendar year. Among the updates is a switch to a flat 5% income tax rate.

How to Prepare: Update payroll system to account for the new withholding amount of 5% from employee earnings that is retroactive for the year of 2018.

Additional information, including a sample memo to notify employees of the change, is available here: New KY Tax Law

Law- Marketplace Contractor Law: Governor Bevin signed House Bill 220 in March 2018. The law establishes requirements for determining when a marketplace contractor is an independent contractor versus an employee. A marketplace contractor is defined as “a person or entity that enters into an agreement with a marketplace platform to use its digital network or mobile application to receive connections to third party individuals or entities seeking services.”

How to Prepare: Employers who employ or contract with workers engaged on a marketplace platform (“gig economy” type jobs) should review their relevant contracts and policies to ensure proper classification of workers.