This week, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear made several important announcements regarding Kentucky’s reopening and return-to-work. These announcements culminated in a three-phase plan for non-healthcare business reopening, a four-phase plan for healthcare reopening, and guidelines titled “Ten Rules for to Reopening.” The announcements will guide all employers in the Commonwealth moving forward.
Articles About Kentucky Labor And Employment Law.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is urging a gradual, phased re-opening of the economy — not just on a statewide basis, but on an individual business basis, too. Kentucky has adopted a phased reopening plan called Healthy at Work. The Healthy at Work plan follows the federal and state protocols for limiting and preventing the spread of COVID-19.
On February 12, 2020, Kentucky’s Labor Cabinet’s Department of Workplace Standards has proposed an amendment to its regulation on employer’s obligations to report workplace injury and illnesses.
Non-lawyers may no longer represent employers in unemployment compensation hearings in Kentucky, the Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled. Nichols v. Kentucky Unemployment Commission, et al., No. 2017-CA-001156-MR, 2019 Ky. App. LEXIS 73 (Ky Ct. App. Apr. 26, 2019).
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin (R) recently signed the Pregnant Workers Act, SB 18, to provide pregnancy-related accommodations for employees in the Bluegrass State. This measure amends the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KCRA) to require employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees related to pregnancy and childbirth, and extends existing protections against retaliation and discrimination to cover pregnancy and childbirth.
Beginning June 27, 2019, Kentucky employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees who are limited due to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions, unless it would impose an undue hardship on the employer to do so.
Last week Governor Bevin signed Senate Bill 18, the Kentucky Pregnant Workers Act. The Act amends the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KCRA) and applies to employers with 15 or more employees within the state in each of twenty (20) or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, as well as any agent of the employer. The new law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees who are limited due to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions, unless it would impose an undue hardship on the employer to do so. The law includes lactation and the need to express breastmilk for a nursing child as a related medical condition that must be reasonably accommodated absent undue hardship.
On March 25, 2019, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed into law a bill that reaffirms an employer’s right to use arbitration agreements. The law substantively amends the language of two state statutes: KRS § 336.700 and KRS § 417.050.
The right of Kentucky employers to require arbitration as a condition of employment and continued employment has been restored by Senate Bill 7, signed by Governor Matt Bevin on March 25, 2019. The new law also provides certain safeguards for employees.
The Kentucky Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to Kentucky’s “right-to-work” law, holding the law does not violate the Kentucky Constitution. Zuckerman v. Bevin, Nos. 2018-SC-000097 and 2018-SC-000098 (Nov. 15, 2018).
On September 27, 2018, the Kentucky Supreme Court in Northern Kentucky Area Development District v. Snyder1 held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) does not preempt a Kentucky statute, KRS § 336.070(2), barring employers from requiring employees to waive, arbitrate, or diminish statutory rights as a condition or precondition of employment. Although this is ostensibly the first state-wide judicial prohibition on an employer’s mandatory arbitration policy, if appealed, the decision is not expected to withstand U.S. Supreme Court scrutiny.
On September 27, 2018, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued its opinion in Northern Kentucky Area Development District v. Danielle Snyder, No. 2017-SC-000277-DG and held that Kentucky employers may not require employees to sign arbitration agreements as a condition of their employment.
Kentucky has passed House Bill 1, the Kentucky Right to Work Act, making Kentucky the 27th state to adopt right-to-work legislation.
Over the weekend, Kentucky lawmakers passed a right-to-work bill, which was promptly signed by Governor Matt Bevin. The new law took immediate effect on January 9, 2017, making Kentucky the 27th state in the nation and the last state in the South to adopt such a measure.
Local governments in Kentucky lack the authority to establish their own minimum wage rates, the Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled 6-1. Kentucky Restaurant Ass’n, et al. v. Louisville/Jefferson Cty. Metro Gov’t, 2015-SC-000371-TG (Oct. 20, 2016).