In Kentucky, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. KY Office of Workplace Standards FAQs. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. See Berrier v. Bizer, 57 S.W.3d 271 (Kent. Sup. Ct. 2001).
The rollover policy
- Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay
Vacation benefits are a matter of contract between the employer and employee. (Berrier v. Bizer, 57 S.W.3d 271, 281-82 (Ky. 2001).)
“Vested vacation pay” is treated as wages (Ky. Rev. Stat § 337.010(1)(c)).
- Use-It-or-Lose-It Policy
The state of Kentucky has no statute governing the policy.
- Payment of Accrued Vacation on Termination
If an employer offers “vested vacation pay,” employers must pay departing employees the vested, unused vacation pay, whether the employee is terminated or leaves voluntarily. Vested vacation pay is treated as wages. (Ky. Rev. Stat § 337.010(1)(c).)
However, if and when vacation vests is a matter of policy or contract between the employer and employee. Employers are not required to pay for vacation time that has not vested under a policy or contract (or possibly an established practice). (See Berrier, 57 S.W.3d at 281-82.)
No federal or state law in Kentucky requires employers to pay out an employee’s accrued vacation, sick leave, or other paid time off (PTO) at the termination of employment.
Maternity, Paternity, FMLA
In addition to Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Kentucky has the following laws regarding Maternity and Paternity Leave:
The Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KCRA) requires employers with at least 15 employees to provide reasonable accommodations for an employee’s limitations due to pregnancy-related or childbirth medical conditions.
The statute defines reasonable accommodations to include more frequent or longer breaks, time off to recover from childbirth, acquisition or modification of equipment, appropriate seating, temporary transfer to a less strenuous or less hazardous position, job restructuring, light-duty, modified work schedule and private space that is not a bathroom for expressing breast milk.
Adoption Leave an employer is required to provide an employee with up to six weeks of personal leave due to the adoption of a child under the age of 7. The employee is required to provide the employer with a written request.
Jury Duty Leave
Employers are not required to pay employees during their jury duty leave.
An employer may not discharge, penalize, threaten, or otherwise coerce an employee who receives and/or responds to a jury summons or who serves on a jury.
Kentucky State. 29A.160
No federal or state law require an employer to provide the employee with paid or unpaid bereavement leave or with any time off to organize or attend a close family member’s funeral.
Employers are required to provide employees with up to four hours of unpaid leave. Employees must provide notice at least one day before election day. Employers may define time during which an employee may take the leave.
Kentucky law provides members of the National Guard of Kentucky or any other state with unpaid leave when called to active duty, job protection, and reinstatement to the previous position with all the employment rights and benefits and protection against discrimination due to military service in Kentucky National Guard or active militia.
Please consult your local legal counsel to learn more about Kentucky Leave Laws.
To learn more about laws in various countries, check out our Leave Laws page.