Guide to Kentucky Labor Laws About Breaks
If you are a worker in the state of Kentucky, you are protected by several different KY labor laws about breaks. It is important to understand Kentucky labor laws about breaks so that you can exercise your rights as an employee. This guide will explain the major KY labor laws about breaks, including which breaks must be paid and which may be unpaid. If you need more in-depth information about Kentucky labor laws about breaks, or legal advice about an employer's labor law violations, you may want to consult with an employment attorney who can give you more details about your legal options.
Federal labor laws do not require any short breaks or rest periods for employees. In Kentucky, workers are lucky—KY labor laws about breaks specify that employees must be given at least a 10 minute break for every 4 hours of work. Both federal and Kentucky labor laws about breaks require that these short rest breaks be paid, as long as they are less than 20 minutes long. These Kentucky laws about breaks apply to all employees, including both full and part-time employees, temporary and permanent.
If your employer is not obeying KY labor laws about breaks and denies you rest periods every four hours, you may be able to contact the state's wage and hours division at the Department of Labor. Often, the Department of Labor can help by contacting your employer, and your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for notifying the state about an employer's violation of Kentucky labor laws about breaks.
KY labor laws about breaks are more stringent than federal laws. If you are working for a shift longer than five hours, Kentucky labor laws about breaks require that you be given a meal break between the third and fifth hours of a shift, regardless of when the shift begins. According to KY labor laws about breaks, meal breaks are not required to be paid and must be of a reasonable length. In order for your meal break to be unpaid, Kentucky labor laws about breaks require that you be relieved of all work duties during this time.
While there are no specific KY labor laws about breaks that cover bathroom breaks, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that, for workplace safety, employees need to be given reasonable bathroom breaks. If an employee has a medical condition that requires more frequent bathroom breaks than most people, this is typically considered a reasonable accommodation and an employer must allow the breaks. You may want to talk to OSHA if your employer is denying you reasonable bathroom breaks.
Recently, Kentucky labor laws about breaks began requiring a new type of break. Because women who are breastfeeding must express their milk periodically or face a diminished milk supply and severe discomfort, new labor laws require employers to give reasonable breastfeeding breaks for employees who are nursing a child.