Overtime Attorneys in Kentucky
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Kentucky Overtime Attorneys
Hardworking Kentuckians deserve to get paid adequately for their time and effort. If you work over 40 hours in a work week, federal and state law determines that you must be paid time and a half for any additional hours unless you are officially exempt from overtime pay.
Unfortunately, scores of Kentucky employees may be unfairly denied overtime pay. If your employer underpays you deliberately or unintentionally, they violate labor laws. You could be entitled to compensation above and beyond your missing wages, such as double the overtime pay owed plus interest.
We know that standing up to an employer can be intimidating. However, you do not have to go it alone. Let Morgan & Morgan help you get justice. We have been standing up for workers’ rights for decades and could help you recover your missing wages and additional compensation. Our motivated overtime attorneys in Kentucky are ready to fight for you. Contact us today to discover whether you have a case for unpaid overtime.
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Kentucky Overtime Pay Regulations
Knowing overtime laws and regulations is critical for Kentucky workers to prevent them from experiencing financial exploitation. When you know what you are entitled to, you are empowered to assert your rights and take action.
Many workers on an hourly wage, and some salaried employees, qualify for overtime pay in Kentucky if they work more than 40 hours in a work week (seven consecutive work days). The rate for any hours in addition to 40 is time and a half. Since Kentucky's minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour, workers are generally entitled to overtime pay of at least $10.88 per hour (one and a half times the minimum wage).
If you earn more than minimum wage in Kentucky, you are entitled to 1.5 times your regular hourly compensation.
Calculating Your Overtime Rate
You can calculate your overtime rate by multiplying your hourly wage by 1.5. Then, multiply the sum by the hours you have worked above 40 in a work week. For example, if you earn $8 per hour and work for a total of 50 hours in a week, your calculation will be as follows:
$8 (regular hourly wage) x 1.5 = $12 (overtime pay rate)
$12 x 10 hours overtime worked = $120
You would be entitled to $120 in overtime pay in addition to your regular weekly wage of $320. Your total income for the week would be $440.
Failing to Pay Overtime Is Wage Theft
When employers withhold overtime pay, they commit wage theft. Wage theft is not trivial and can cause financial hardship for workers who could use their overtime pay for groceries, rent, and other life necessities. Morgan & Morgan is ready to fight for what you deserve if your employer steals your wages.
Workers Entitled to Overtime Pay in Kentucky
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), some workers automatically qualify for overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours per work week. You are most likely protected by overtime law if you work in the following jobs:
- Construction or factory worker
- Law enforcement officer
- Most manual labor
- Practical nurse
Jobs Generally Exempt From Overtime Pay
Understanding whether your job is exempt can be challenging. There is a general misconception that hourly workers qualify for overtime while salaried workers are exempt. However, this is not always the case, and the rules around exemptions are more complex. Generally, the following do not qualify for overtime pay in Kentucky:
- Independent contractors
- The immediate family of an employer
- Some transport employees
- Students and learners
- Newspaper deliverers
- Farm and agricultural laborers
- Domestic workers and other live-in employees
- Restaurant, hotel, and motel workers
- Retail employees
Executives, administrators, IT professionals, external salespeople, and other positions are also generally excluded from overtime pay. If your job falls into any of the categories below, your employer is generally not required to pay you overtime:
According to Kentucky Law Title 803, Chapter 001, Regulation 070, you hold an executive position if you own the business or part of the company, or you are in a salaried position and:
- Earn no less than $455 per week
- Manage a business or department
- Direct two or more employees
- Have authority to hire, fire, promote, or demote employees
- Your suggestion to hire, fire, promote, or demote employees carries weight in the business
Your position qualifies as administrative if you are salaried and primarily engaged in non-manual work related to management, business operations, or training. An administrative employee typically performs duties associated with the running of the business, such as:
- Finance (auditing, tax, accounting, auditing, budgeting)
- Purchasing and Procurement
- Quality Control
- Marketing and advertising
- Health and Safety
- Human Resources
- Employee benefits
- Database Administration
- Legal and regulatory compliance
You are exempt from overtime if you are employed in a professional position that requires extensive education and advanced knowledge. Professional positions include skilled computer professionals, accountants, attorneys, certified teachers, architects, and others.
Outside Sales Representatives
You are generally exempt from overtime if you work in an outside sales position. To qualify, you must meet the following points:
- Your primary duty is making sales, taking orders, or engaging in related activities
- You regularly work away from your employer or place of business
It is critical to note that your job title does not always determine whether you are exempt. The Department of Labor (DOL) states that exempt employees must be salaried and earn at least $684 per week.
How Kentucky Employers Try to Avoid Paying Overtime
Paying workers overtime is expensive for employers. While some make genuine mistakes in calculating workers’ overtime rates, other employers look for loopholes in the law to avoid paying workers what they deserve. Some of the most common ways in which employers skirt labor laws include:
Misclassifying Employees as Contractors
Independent contractors do not qualify for overtime pay as they generally set their hours and pay. However, employers sometimes misclassify regular employees as independent contractors to save on overtime pay, payroll taxes, and other obligations. Being misclassified has numerous disadvantages for employees, such as:
- Not receiving the overtime pay they are entitled to
- Lacking protection from workers’ compensation insurance
- Having to pay more income taxes
- Missing out on benefits, such as health insurance, pension contributions, and others
Deliberately misclassifying employees as independent contractors is illegal. Your employer could face steep penalties, and you could recover compensation.
Declaring Workers Exempt From Overtime Pay
When an employer tells you that you are exempt from overtime pay, do not take their word for it and determine whether this is true. You could qualify for overtime pay even if you receive a salary or work in a supervisory or managerial position.
Miscalculating Overtime Pay
In Kentucky, employers must pay non-exempt employees overtime at time and a half for any hours worked over 40 in a work week. However, calculating your overtime pay can be complicated if you regularly receive bonuses or commissions as part of your income. The FLSA provides that all compensation for hours worked, performance, and services must be included to determine your regular pay rate.
Therefore, an employer should generally factor in all ordinary income and not only your basic hourly wage to arrive at your correct overtime rate.
Failing to Count Work Hours Correctly
An employer can deliberately or inadvertently deprive you of the overtime pay you deserve. Generally, all time spent working should count as work time, including:
- Cleaning up after your regular shift
- Setting up before your work hours
- Breaks that are shorter than 30 minutes
- Dealing with work-related emails or phone calls outside work hours
- Attending work meetings outside your regular work time
While some employers make mistakes when calculating overtime, others deliberately steal wages. Either way, you are entitled to fair pay for the work rendered. Our overtime attorneys in Kentucky can assess your employment situation and determine whether you have a case against your employer.
What Should I Do if an Employer Steals My Wages?
If you are not receiving the wages you deserve, try to speak to your employer or HR department. Some employers do not know how to calculate overtime correctly and make unintentional mistakes. However, if there is no attempt to remedy the situation, you have several options to get justice and recover back pay, including:
- File a wage and hour claim with the Kentucky Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) by filling out an Employment Wage Complaint Form.
- Contact an overtime attorney in Kentucky who can file your claim and, if necessary, help you sue your employer.
When your rights as a worker are violated, it is crucial to act promptly. You could recover unpaid wages, attorney’s fees, and up to twice the amount you are owed in back pay. However, you typically must file your case within six months after the wage claim occurs.
Morgan & Morgan Can Help
When you believe that you are experiencing wage theft, your best next step is to speak to an experienced labor lawyer to determine your rights and the best course of action. Morgan & Morgan is here to help workers in Kentucky receive the pay they deserve. We can help you in many ways, including:
- Help you understand your legal rights and options
- Gather evidence to prove your claim against your employer
- Assess the amount you are owed in back pay and damages
- File a claim or lawsuit against your employer
- Take your case to trial if necessary
- Fight for the maximum possible compensation
Morgan & Morgan never charge clients upfront, so you have no financial risk when we take your case. Moreover, if you win, your employer typically has to pay all attorney’s fees and legal costs.
My Employer Says I Am Exempt From Overtime Pay; Is This Correct?
Whether you are exempt from overtime pay depends on your job and whether you are an employee or an independent contractor. Unfortunately, employers often misclassify employees deliberately to avoid paying benefits, payroll taxes, and overtime. Most hourly and some salaried employees are entitled to receive time and a half for overtime worked.
As we have seen, some professions and positions of seniority can be exempt from overtime, such as the following:
- Outside Sales
Are You an Independent Contractor?
Independent contractors do not qualify for overtime pay. However, are you truly a contractor, or is your employer misclassifying you to save on paying taxes and overtime? While there can be a gray area, you are generally considered an employee and not a contractor if you:
- Work a set of hours determined by your employer, such as 9-5
- Use your employer’s office and equipment (computer, desk, work tools, etc.)
- Receive training and instruction from your employer
- Are paid an hourly wage or salary
- Have little to no control over your hours and how you perform the work
An actual independent contractor controls their hours, decides where they work, and generally works on a project basis. They invoice clients for work performed rather than receiving a salary or hourly wage. If you are misclassified, you may not only lose out on overtime pay but also on benefits and more favorable taxes. Our overtime attorneys in Kentucky can assess your employment situation and discuss your legal rights and options.
Morgan & Morgan Fights for Underpaid Workers in Kentucky
Kentucky’s workers are entitled to fair wages so they can manage their household bills, provide for their families, and live with dignity. Nobody should work for free or for less than they deserve.
Workers’ rights have always been close to our hearts. Morgan & Morgan fights for the people, not the powerful, and can leave no stone unturned to hold unscrupulous or clueless employers to account. If you believe that your employer is shortchanging you, our dedicated Kentucky labor lawyers want to help. Contact us now to find out more in a free consultation.