Wage and hour claims in Kentucky
The hours you work deserve compensation. This is not just a nice sentiment. It is a federal law. It is a Kentucky law. However, many companies pursue practices that lessen your wages for time worked. Here are ways to recognize these practices.
Many companies employ a policy requiring a worker to be at their shift 15 minutes early to “get ready” for the day. Now, obviously, many people do try to get to work a little early and may even spend some time in the break room before the shift begins.
However, if your employer requires you to be at work before your shift starts, then they should pay you to be there. Any time that your employer requires should be time your employer compensates you for.
It is a federal law that if your employer gives you a rest break at work, it should be a paid break. This federal law is mostly concerned with shorter “coffee breaks,” generally between 5 and 20 minutes long. Longer breaks, such as lunch breaks, are not necessarily compensable unless you choose to continue working during your lunch break.
“We can’t afford overtime.”
Another common excuse for unpaid wages is that a company “cannot afford to pay overtime” but still require it. This is often the case when an employer asks you to stay and “close up” but isn’t compensated during that time. Another scenario can include an ask for “a favor.” However, if you work overtime, which in Kentucky is any hours worked in excess of 40 hours, they must pay you 1 ½ times your normal rate.
Additionally, you work seven straight days; that seventh day – even if it is less than 40 hours – must be at a time-and-a-half rate.
You did the time.
Normally, “doing time” has a negative connotation, but in this case, it’s just reality. You did the work. You should get paid for that work. The law is on your side.