The Kentucky Family and Medical Leave Act is designed for just those occasions when family circumstances become overwhelming. It may be because there’s been an accident or serious health problem in the immediate family. Perhaps there’s a birth, or an adoption. Maybe a foster child is coming into the home.
In the season of Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day it’s natural to think about family. It’s also a good time to think again about the Kentucky FMLA law. The Kentucky Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is designed to help you when you need to turn your focus away from work for a while and direct your attention to the needs of your loved ones.
While some states have chosen to create their own, sometimes slightly different, versions of the Family and Medical Leave Act, Kentucky abides by the Kentucky program.
Under the conditions in the Kentucky and Kentucky program, a worker may get up to 12 weeks a year of unpaid leave. But in order to make it happen, both the employer and the employee have certain obligations they must fulfill. For example, the employer is urged to notify an employee immediately regarding leave status and describe exactly how that worker may go about keeping in touch with the workplace to insure the security of the job. The employee, on the other hand, must follow up on the employer’s instructions and abide by deadlines. It’s important to maintain an ongoing relationship with the employer.
Unpaid leave raises complications around medical coverage. Normally, your workplace coverage would be paid for by payroll deductions. But when you’re on unpaid leave, where does that premium money come from? The answer is, your employer is likely to consider it an advance on a future paycheck. When you return, you’ll find the cost of your medical coverage premium appearing as a deduction from your wages. You and your employer should sit down and sign an agreement to avoid misunderstandings that could arise as a result of this legal issue.
Thought it might be a good idea to get on here and let you know what I’ve learned about Kentucky’s maternity leave law. I found out most of this info on Kentucky’s Department of Labor web site. Hope it helps for all of you out there wondering what the details are!
Basically, there are no laws in Kentucky guaranteeing job protection or benefits for new parents. Pregnant women and new parents are, however, protected by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and also by the Family Medical Leave Act.
Both of these laws are federal laws. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act makes it illegal for employers to fire, refuse to hire, or deny a woman a promotion because she’s pregnant. Basically, she must be treated just like anyone else in the company! This goes for sick leave and disability too. If a company offers these things to other employees, then it also must offer them for pregnancy-related issues.
The Family Medical Leave Act allows private or public sector employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave to, among other things, take care of a newborn baby or newly adopted child. If you plan to take advantage of this act you have to work for an employer with more than 50 employees in a 75-mile radius.
Be aware that taking some time off after our pregnancy under this act doesn’t guarantee that your job will be held. In fact, a provision under the FLMA, designed to ease economic hardships for companies who are missing key employees, states that it is completely legal for key employees to be terminated during leave. You are considered a key employee if you are in the top 10 percent of highest paid employees.
On an interesting note though, there is one area in which Kentucky has a leave law, aside from the federal law, that applies to employees of companies under 50. It has to do with adoption, and actually it covers all employees in Kentucky. It allows unpaid leave for the adoption of children under the age of 7.
Holiday pay is not required by Kentucky law. The U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require payment for time not worked, such as vacations, sick leave or holidays (federal or otherwise). These benefits are a matter of agreement between an employer and an employee (or the employee’s representative).
Employees who work for certain businesses or organizations (or “enterprises”) are covered by the FLSA. These enterprises, which must have at least two employees, include those that do at least $500,000 a year in business; and any hospitals, businesses providing medical or nursing care for residents, schools and preschools, and government agencies.
Even when there is no enterprise coverage, some employees are protected by the FLSA. If any employee’s work regularly involves them in commerce between States (“interstate commerce”), the law covers individual workers who are “engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce.” Some examples would be employees who produce goods (such as a worker assembling components in a factory or a secretary typing letters in an office) that will be sent out of state, those who regularly make telephone calls to persons located in other States, those who handle records of interstate transactions, those who travel to other States on their jobs, and those who do janitorial work in buildings where goods are produced for shipment outside the State. (Domestic service workers such as housekeepers, full-time babysitters, and cooks are normally covered by the law.)
When an employer chooses to pay for holidays not worked, unless specified otherwise, if an employee performs any work during the workweek in which a named holiday occurs, they are entitled to the holiday benefit, regardless of whether the holiday falls on a Sunday, another day during the workweek on which the employee is not normally scheduled to work, or on the employee’s day off.
If employers choose to pay for holidays, they must pay full-time employee their full days’ pay up to 8 hours unless a different standard is used, such as one reflecting collectively bargaining. In the case of termination (voluntary or involuntary), any payment for unused vacation depends on the policy or past practice of the employer, as Kentucky does not specifically require that an employer pay an employee for unused vacation upon termination of employment. As for holidays, even if the employer pays for holidays, they are not required to pay a terminated employee for holidays yet to occur.
The Kentucky Complete Labor Law poster is available currently with the most recent changes to the Kentucky labor laws as well as the federal laws.