Kentucky’s current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
If the federal minimum hourly wage increases, the minimum hourly wage in Kentucky will also increase to the same amount.
See more information here: KY Statute 337.275(1)
Tip Minimum Wage
Kentucky’s current tipped minimum wage is $2.13 per hour.
Kentucky’s tipped minimum wage is set to be the same as the tipped minimum wage established in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act KY Statutes 337.275(2).
Tips and gratuities are defined as voluntary monetary contributions paid by a customer for services rendered by an employee.
Employers may pay employees the tipped minimum wage if the employees customarily and regularly receive more than $30 per month in tips from customers.
If an employer chooses to pay qualifying employees the tipped minimum wage rate, they must also ensure that the employees are paid the standard minimum wage rate when tipped wages are combined with tips earned.
That said, the difference between the tipped minimum wage and the standard minimum wage that may be credited to earned tips is called a tip credit.
For more information, check out KY Statutes 337.275(2). Also, if the tip credit is not enough to ensure tipped employees are paid the standard minimum wage, the employer must pay employees wages enough to cover the shortage.
Tip Pooling and Sharing
Part of wage regulations in Kentucky is that employers are prohibited from requiring employees to participate in a tip pool or sharing agreement. This is where employees are required to turn over to the pool any tip or portion of tips to be distributed among other employees.
Employees may voluntarily agree to enter into a tip pooling agreement among themselves.
Employers may notify employees that a voluntary tip pool exists, provide the customary arrangements for the tip pool, and offer a service for safeguarding tips placed in the pool at their own expense.
When an employer safeguards tip pool funds, he is required to keep the account properly identified, keep the tips separate from his other business records, and allow the open examination to the tip pool participants.For more information, check KY Statutes 337.065(4).
Employees with Disabilities
Kentucky minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay employees with disabilities a subminimum wage rate that is lower than the standard minimum wage.
Kentucky minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay trainees a subminimum wage rate that is lower than the standard minimum wage.
Kentucky minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay apprentices a subminimum wage rate that is lower than the standard minimum wage.
Kentucky minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay learners a subminimum wage rate that is lower than the standard minimum wage.
Kentucky minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay student learners a subminimum wage rate that is lower than the standard minimum wage.
Kentucky minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay student workers a subminimum wage rate that is lower than the standard minimum wage.
Other Government Regulations
Below are other government regulations regarding labor law and minimum wages in Kentucky:
Part of those who receive minimum wage in Kentucky is minors. They may be less than 16 years of age or 16 or 17 years old.
Given the course of an entire school week, Kentucky’s labor laws stipulate that minors can only work up to three regular school hours during weekdays or school days.
A maximum of eight hours is allowed on non-school days.
Compliance for Employers
Other than the information stated above, below are other employer requirements mandated by Kentucky labor laws:
Employers part of the FLSA are required to give overtime pay. The rate is 1.5 times the regular rate. Business owners are also mandated to pay the same overtime rate for all work hours by the seventh day of the week.
Part of the requirements for Kentucky employers, both for their employees under full-time and part-time employment, is the provision for reasonable meal periods. This must be done after the third hour of work or before the fifth hour. Note that meals do not necessarily have to be paid for.
All in all, the matter of minimum wage not just in Kentucky but for the entire country merits proper scrutiny of guidelines and also attention to current debates.
Several bodies of research now consider several factors, like the age of workers and the industry they belong to, before proposals for increases in the future are finalized.
They are also looking into how small business owners and employees can benefit from minimum wage raises, the overall status of employment, and even the federal deficit.
Kentucky Minimum Wage Laws 2023 FAQs
Will there be a minimum wage increase in Kentucky in 2023?
Kentucky’s minimum wage standards are based on the federal minimum wage.
Hence, there are no state minimum wage increases slated anytime soon unless the federal minimum wage also changes.
That said, there are current initiatives to raise employee wages thanks to a bill proposed by Senator Reginald Thomas.
Why are Senators Reggie Thomas and Morgan McGarvey proposing a minimum wage increase in Kentucky?
The bill that these senators proposed covers a series of minimum wage increases that will require monthly adjustments.
These increases will continue until Kentucky’s minimum wage standards reach a rate of $15 per hour in 2026.