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Non-lawyers may no longer represent employers in unemployment compensation hearings in Kentucky, the Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled.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.
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).
The Kentucky Supreme Court has held that continued employment alone is not valid consideration for non-compete agreements. In Charles T. Creech, Inc. v. Brown, 2014 Ky. LEXIS 233 (Ky. 2014), Donald E. Brown was employed by Charles T. Creech, Inc. for over 18 years before he was asked to sign a non-compete agreement in 2006. When the company’s owner presented the agreement to Brown, the owner stated that Brown needed to sign it in order to “get [the owner’s] daughter off our backs,” but no one told Brown that his continued employment was contingent on signing the agreement, and he received no other consideration for signing. The employer argued that Brown’s continued employment was valid consideration for the non-compete agreement, and relied on two cases in which the Kentucky Supreme Court had held continued employment to be valid consideration. The Kentucky Supreme Court disagreed and distinguished both of those decisions, explaining that in both cases factors other than continued employment were present that constituted consideration.