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.