A History Of Growing Trust In Kentucky

Fair compensation for increased job responsibilities in Kentucky

On Behalf of | Jan 15, 2024 | Employment

Kentucky labor laws exist to protect the rights and interests of employees. Employers must adhere to certain regulations when it comes to job duties and compensation.

Asking an employee to perform the job duties of a higher-paying position without providing a corresponding promotion or pay increase may raise concerns related to labor laws.

At-will employment doctrine

Kentucky adheres to the at-will employment doctrine. This grants both employers and employees the flexibility to end the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause or notice. However, it does not give employers the authority to assign tasks beyond an employee’s current position without considering fair compensation.

De facto promotions and compensation

When employers request that employees take on the responsibilities of a higher-paying position, the law may deem this a de facto promotion. In such cases, employees may argue for commensurate compensation and benefits. Kentucky’s labor laws align with the Fair Labor Standards Act which sets the minimum wage at $7.25 per hour and requires that employees are paid time and a half for any hours over a 40-hour work week. Employers need to address compensation in line with changing job roles.

Compliance and transparency

Employers should be transparent about job assignments and compensation. They should clearly communicate any changes in job responsibilities that significantly alter an employee’s role and adjust compensation accordingly.

Recourse for employees

Employers may face legal repercussions for not compensating employees fairly. These repercussions may include claims for unpaid wages and demands for back pay. In a 2024 report, the U.S. Department of Labor found nearly a million dollars in back wages owed to 1,994 Kentucky employees. Employees who believe their employers have violated their rights can file complaints with the Kentucky Department of Labor.

Maintaining a legally compliant work environment in Kentucky requires a fair and transparent approach to job assignments and compensation. Employers have a responsibility to understand and adhere to existing labor laws.