Kentucky Hours Worked Laws

Hours worked

Under Kentucky’s minimum wage and overtime laws, time that must be counted as hours worked includes time an employee is suffered or permitted to work. This includes time the employer has not specifically requested the employee work but permits the employee to work or otherwise knows the employee is working. This includes work an employee performs away from the employer’s premises or job site. Management is responsible for overseeing that work is not performed by an employee if it does not want the work performed.

KY Admin Rules 803-1:065(2).


Kentucky minimum wage laws define a workweek as a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours, which is seven (7) consecutive twenty-four (24) hour periods. An employer may determine when a workweek begins and it does not need to coincide with the calendar week. Additionally, an employer may establish different workweeks for different groups of employees. An employer may change the beginning of a workweek if the change is meant to be permanent and is not intended to evade minimum wage and overtime requirements. KY Admin Rules 803-1:060(4), (12).

Waiting time

Under Kentucky minimum wage laws, whether employers must pay employees for waiting time depends on the particular circumstances. The determination involves:

  • the scrutiny and construction of the agreements between the particular parties;
  • appraisal of their particular construction of the working agreement by conduct;
  • consideration of the nature of the service;
  • its relation to the waiting time; and
  • all other circumstances.

The facts, common sense, and general concepts of work or employment will show whether the employee is engaged to wait or waiting to be engaged.

On-duty time can include:

  • a stenographer reading a book while waiting for dictation
  • messenger reading a book while awaiting an assignment
  • fireman playing cards while waiting for an alarm call
  • factory worker talking with fellow employees while waiting for machinery to be repaired
  • repair man waiting on customers to ready his or her premises for repair
  • truck driver required to take care of his or her employer’s property or waiting at or near a job site for loading.

KY Admin Rules 803-1:065(3).

On-call time

Kentucky minimum wage laws require employers to count as hours worked time spent by employees on-call if they are required to remain on or near the employer’s premises and may not use the time effectively for his or her own time. Employees are not considered on call if they simply leave word where they may be reached when leaving the employer’s premises.

Employees who are completely relieved from duty and have sufficient time to be about to use their time effectively for their own purposes are considered to be off duty and such time is not considered hours worked for compensation purposes. KY Admin Rules 803-1:065(3)(4).

Sleeping time

Kentucky minimum wage laws require employers to count employee sleeping time as hours worked for purposes of minimum wage and overtime requirements if the employees are required to remain on duty and available while sleeping. This standard applies regardless of whether the employer provides the employee with sleeping facilities.

For individuals who reside at their employer’s place of business on a permanent basis or extended periods of time where it is difficult to calculate on-duty and off-duty hours, Kentucky will accept any reasonable agreement between the employer and employee governing hours worked.

KY Admin Rules 803-1:065(5).

Travel time

Kentucky minimum wage laws do not require employers to count as hours worked time spent by employees commuting back and forth from home to the workplace. Employers are required to compensate employees who travel as part of their principal work activity, including travel time from job site to job site during the workday.

Additionally, employers must count travel time as hours worked when employees are required to report at a certain meeting place to receive instructions or perform duties before traveling to another location. Employers must also compensate employees for travel time away from home when the time cuts across the employee’s workday. KY Admin Rules 803-1:065 (7).

Meeting, lecture, and training time

Kentucky minimum wage laws require employers to count time spent by employees at meetings, lectures, training, or other similar activities as hours worked, unless all the following criteria are met:

  • attendance does not occur during the employee’s regular working hours;
  • attendance is voluntary (If the attendance is required by the employer or if employees believe or understand adverse employment actions would occur if they do not attend, attendance is not voluntary);
  • attendance is not directly relate
  • employees do not perform any productive work during the meeting, lecture, or training.

KY Admin Rules 803-1:065(6).

Show up or reporting time

Kentucky minimum wage laws do not require employers to pay employees for reporting or showing up to work if no work is performed. An employer is also not required to pay an employee a minimum number of hours if the employer dismisses the employee from work prior to completing their scheduled shift. Employers are only required to pay employees for hours actually worked.