Kentucky Labor Law Board

The Kentucky labor board is a governing board that helps in the management and the enforcement of the labor laws of the state.  The board takes into consideration many of the needs of the worker as well as the employer within the state of Kentucky.  They insure that the employees will get fair training and pay.  The board’s goal is to provide for a work environment that is positive, free from conflict and offers the right benefits and tools for the employee. 

If you find yourself in need of help, the Department of Labor has many benefits that can help you in finding solutions to your needs.  The Kentucky labor board offers many pieces of help to those that are looking for work.  Many areas of the state are facing job loses as part of the economic decline in many smaller areas.  Nevertheless, the state offers many tools to aid those that are looking for help in getting back into the workforce. 

The Department of Labor’s labor board has the ability to provide a good amount of information as well as keys to aiding those that need work, businesses that need employees as well as provides for governing the laws of the land as far as the workforce goes. 

If you need help with such aspects as worker’s safety, worker’s compensation claims, help with standards that need to be enforced in the workplace or help with medication and relations with employees or employers, the Kentucky labor board is the place to go for that help.  Currently the state is conducting a survey and doing hearings with the possibility of raising the minimum wage of the state.  They are also working on getting more jobs to be created within the state.  These are all things that are necessary for those that live in Kentucky and you can count on finding out what happens through the Department of Labor.

Detailed information regarding specific Kentucky labor laws can be found on the Kentucky Complete Labor Law poster.

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130 Thoughts on “Kentucky Labor Law Board”

Greg

November 29, 2010 at 2:22 am

I have been working for this company for three years as of 11/21. About two weeks ago I confronted my previous manager who is now the district manager about my paychecks. I had noticed for months that my paycheck wasn’t what it was supposed to be, but I thought that maybe I had not paid close enough attention to my time. One day I clocked in after working a 12 and a half hour shift that someone had erased three and a half hours of that time. I told my new manager about this and he said that the previous manager had been on the time clock clocking people out for their lunch breaks they hadn’t clocked out for and he corrected my time.

When I confronted the former manager/district manager about this, she claimed she had never changed my time, and she came in and printed out all of my weekly payroll that had been submitted since the middle of September. When we reviewed the payroll together, she admitted to shorting my overtime two hours and said I would get that back; however, the rest of the time does not add up, either. I noticed when reviewing the time sheets later that there were many manager overrides where there should not have been any, and it appeared that I was clocking out at times that were not reasonable for me to have clocked out.

Since then, this former manager/district manager has threatened my employment at least twice, and has gone behind my current manager’s back to other employees, telling them that I was not the assistant manager of the store, even though I had already gotten the pay raise and the CEO of the company had approved my placement. Other employees have told me that since the former manager had left and become assistant manager that their paychecks were finally reflecting the hours that they had actually worked, and one employee had already confronted the former manager about lunches being taken out of her time. One former employee has even come back to work with the store since there is a new manager.

The other problem with this issue is that the former manager/district manager is my father in law’s sister. She has been talking to the family, telling them only pieces of the story, and it is making life in general very difficult. She has even called me during work hours to threaten my job because of things my wife has said on her facebook. She has claimed my wife is slandering her, when my wife has not mentioned her name specifically. She has called my mother and father in law on a daily basis complaining about both my wife and myself trying to get them to cut us off or to try to get me to quit my job. It seems everyday there is something new that she has said, and I dread going in to work everyday. I am terrified that I will be fired for no good reason one day, and then I have no idea how I will support my family.

I am unsure as to what to do, since I work with a gas station and this is the only source of income my family has other than the unemployment my wife receives, which is less than $200 every two weeks. I am afraid that I will lose my job if I file a complaint with the labor review board, since Kentucky is a work at will state.

Amelia

November 29, 2010 at 5:27 am

Hi Greg! We have good news for you. Like most states, Kentucky is an “employment at will” state. However, there are limits under both federal and state law to employment at will. One of them is that an employer cannot retaliate against an employee who files a complaint with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet at http://www.labor.ky.gov/ows/. You should do this immediately, and encourage any other employees who were not paid properly to do so, too. Make it clear to the person who takes the complaint that the old manager was doing manual adjustments to your time. (The good news is that they can go back and inspect the original records, to see when you actually clocked in and out before her adjustments.) They can assist you in recovering any time you are owed for the past 2-3 years. Taking this action will actually protect your job.

No one should wait months before filing a complaint if they are not being paid properly.

Here is what happened: The old manager was staying within her budget by shorting everyone’s hours, making manual adjustments to deduct time they actually worked. She did such a good job at controlling costs this way that she was promoted to District Manager. Now she is terrified that someone will learn that she only got where she is by cheating. In order to pay you properly, she has to admit lying and may lose her job.

We always hate for any employee to use the word “confront” to describe a work conversation. Confrontation is never the right way to solve the problem. Ideally, any situation would be solved by a rational, tactful discussion. In this case, by confronting the District Manager, you are jeopardizing her job. It would have been better for you to go over her head, or to simply file a complaint with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet.

We agree that this District Manager is now simply looking for an excuse to fire you, and it is only a matter of time until she finds it. In addition to filing a complaint, if the company has an HR department you need to contact them about this. If they do not, you need to contact the District Manager’s boss. Unfortunately this will get her in trouble, but it may also help protect your job. (Do not let them talk you out of filing a complaint with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, because then you lose job protection.)

Until this situation is resolved, your wife should not be posting anything about it on Facebook. It’s probably not slander, but it’s also not a smart thing to do. It just adds fuel to the fire and endangers your job.

There is really not a lot that can be done about the District Manager badmouthing you to her relatives. There are pluses and minuses to working for family members, and this is one of the minuses. When there is a disagreement at work, it bleeds over into family life. For now, tell your relatives only that you cannot talk about an ongoing work issue. After this is all over, you can present your side of the issue, calmly and rationally, to your family — once. Explain that you never wanted to endanger the District Manager’s job, but you also did not want to be cheated out of your earnings. After that, you have to let it drop and let your relatives make up their own mind who they want to believe. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

Greg

November 29, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Thank you for the wonderful advice. I have been tearing myself apart because of all of this and now I have a solid lead on what to do. The other employees, I believe, are waiting for someone else to act. I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I have a wife and daughter to support. There is a 2 month probation, which was just now introduced, for my becoming the new assistant manager. The new manager fought long and hard to get me promoted and now he’s in the crossfire because of all this. I wish I could just go to work and reap the benefits of my hard work.

Thanks again ^_^

Amelia

November 29, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Hi Greg! You are very welcome! It sounds like you have a good ally in the new manager, and congrats on the promotion. This happens often — a number of employees are affected by an unlawful practice, but they need a leader to speak out.

It sounds like this District Manager is not acting in an ethical way. Most companies would initially be annoyed by the complaint to the Labor Cabinet, but after the smoke clears they will realize that you did them a favor, by exposing unethical, illegal behavior by a rouge manager. Other store managers may also be grateful, because their performance is being compared to this impossible standard. Ultimately, standing up for all the employees is the right thing to do. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!!~ Amelia

solomon

December 12, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Help, I was recently employed by my church headquarters as a supervisor and promised a salary of $30,000.00 a year with housing and travel. Each month I was supposed to recieve a check for $3,500.00 but I would only receive $4,500.00 each quarter (three months) and givena promise that I would be paid in full at a later time. This continued for five years and when I addressed the issue things became very unchristian-like. So I had no other recourse but resign. I was told before I resigned that I would yet be paid my back salary. But know when I approached my Bishop for pay of some of my back pay in which I am due $125,000.00 he simply wrote me acheck for $500.00 and said this is all I can do for you. I need help, I don’t want to hurt the church, but I really need the money due me. What can I do?

Amelia

December 13, 2010 at 8:04 am

Hi solomon! Wow, this is one of the worst cases of abuse that we have heard of. The math doesn’t add up — $3,500 per month would have been $42,000, not $30,000. (But perhaps an allowance for housing and travel was included?) The bad news is that generally speaking, any state or federal agency can only collect back wages for the past 2 -3 years. So you will probably never see the money from the first two years that you worked there.

Honestly, you should not have let this go on so long. Under both federal and Kentucky law, an employee must be paid all wages due on each payday. You contributed to this problem by allowing the employer to break the law for 5 years. (At the very least, you should have gotten something in writing that stated what you were owed and when you would be paid.)

You should file a wage complaint with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet at http://www.labor.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/2FAEC227-0625-4998-B722-0220EE309F98/0/EECOMPFORM.pdf. They will investigate and if they find the employer owes you money, force them to pay.

Oftentimes, as soon as the employer learns that they Kentucky Labor Cabinet is involved, they issue a check. We understand your reluctance to make the church look bad, but if they owe you wages they will have every opportunity to simply pay you, without going to court. Some churches can be very lax in following the labor laws. They are probably treating other employees the same way, and will continue to do so until they are shown the error of their ways.

Unfortunately, we suspect that the church will say that they never promised you this money, and your entire salary was $18,000 per year. If you go to the Labor Cabinet, you may not get all your money. But if you don’t go to them, you will surely get nothing. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

Greg Wyzard

December 16, 2010 at 9:32 am

I was terminated for not personally calling in saying that I would not be available for work. I had been arrested and my access to calling would not override the answering machine that initiates incoming phone calls to my employer. I had my dad call in for me and my employer stated that I had to do it personally which was impossible due to the phone system that my employer has. My employer also added that I had received a Verbal Warning but that never occurred.
As stated, a second party did call in for me because due to no opportunity of my own. Is this legal?

Amelia

December 16, 2010 at 10:03 am

Hi Greg! We agree that the employer’s action is not reasonable, but it is legal.

Kentucky is an employment-at-will state, meaning the employer can terminate any employee at any time for any (legal) reason or without any reason.

We suspect that this is what happened: The employer would like to terminate you for being arrested, but cannot legally do so. (They could legally terminate you if you were convicted, but because you are innocent until proven guilty, employees cannot be terminated due to an arrest.) So they are searching for a lawful reason to terminate you, and they found one — technically you did not follow the company call-in policy. This is a flimsy excuse to terminate someone and we agree that it is unreasonable — you called in but their phone system prevented you from leaving a messge, so you had your father call. However, what they are doing is legal.

If the employer did not discipline or fire other employees who had relatives call in for them in the past, and those employees were of a different race, sex, color, etc. this might be illegal discrimination. However, as long as the employer applies this policy fairly, it is legal.

You should apply for unemployment benefits. Because this was a first offense and the employer cannot document any previous warnings, you will probably qualify for unemployment benefits. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

John Smith

January 13, 2011 at 4:53 pm

My company laided off several employees i was one of them .I wasnt called back due to many problems with owners mother including stealing from me. I was replaced by one of the owners children. I feel i was fired under the umbrella of lay off. i am also 47 yrs old and had a perfect record. What can do?

John Smith

January 13, 2011 at 5:01 pm

My company laid off several employees i was one of them .I wasnt called back due to many problems with the owners mother including stealing from me. I was replaced by one of the owners children. I feel i was fired under the umbrella of lay off. I am also 47 yrs old and had a perfect work record. What can i do?

Amelia

January 14, 2011 at 10:37 am

Hi John! You can file for unemployment benefits. Any employee can consult an attorney about suing a former employer for wrongful termination. However, it is completely legal for the owner to fire a worker and hire his own children instead. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

Susan

January 27, 2011 at 8:30 am

Is there a time limit that an employer has to notify you if you are approved for Fmla after you turn your completed paperwork in. Thank you, Susan

Amelia

January 27, 2011 at 8:49 am

Hi Susan! Yes, employer notices to workers of FMLA rights must occur within 5 business days after an absence that may be covered by FMLA. The employee has 15 days to return the certification form to the employer. The employer then has 5 business days to return a designation for to the employee, informing the employee that the leave has — or has not — been designated as FMLA. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

John

January 27, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Hi Amelia I am from Ohio i was actually replaced by my nephew who is not a blood relative to the owner his wife is my sister i worked 4 years at his business before my other sisters son was hired he was called back do you think there is any age descrimination under the umbrella of a lay off i am 47 yrs hes 23 yrs

Amelia

January 28, 2011 at 10:53 am

Hi John! No, this does not sound like age discrimination. It sounds like the owner is showing favoritism to a member of his extended family. That is entirely legal. Simply firing an older employee and hiring a younger one does not prove age discrimination. Normally you need more evidence, like the employer telling someone you are too old for the job. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

sheena

February 2, 2011 at 10:33 am

Our company is an environment that does not allow for uninterrupted meal breaks, yet they still deduct 30 minutes from everyone’s time. Is this legal?

Amelia

February 2, 2011 at 11:09 am

Hi sheena! No, this is not legal. Both the federal and Kentucky minimum wage laws require that employees be paid for all time worked. When an employee must eat while subject to being interrupted, the employee is on duty and entitled to payment for the entire time. In addition, the federal FLSA or Fair Labor Standards Act requires that an employee be paid for any breaks that are shorter than 20 minutes. If you take a 30-minute break and are interrupted in the middle of it, you have taken two 15-minute breaks and are entitled to payment for both.

This is an issue that the U.S. Department of Labor takes very seriously. A few years ago, Walmart paid more than $6 million to employees in a few locations who were not being given meal breaks, but having them automatically deducted from their paychecks.

You should tactfully approach the HR department or employer and request payment for all the time worked, including overtime if applicable. If they decline, file a wage complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor at http://www.dol.gov. They will investigate and force the employer to pay any back wages due. It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee who files a wage complaint in good faith, even if no wages are owed. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

February 6, 2011 at 10:30 pm

I work for a resturant that change our payday from the 14th of February (every two week) to the 7th but this will be for only one week then we will get pay on the 21st for two weeks. We were only notified of this change on Friday the 4th so I made changes with some of my loans that came out of my account automatic now on Sunday the 6th we find out that our checks will be held until Friday the11th

Amelia

February 7, 2011 at 8:00 am

Hi Debbie! You need to get in touch with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet at http://www.labor.ky.gov/ and file a wage complaint because the employer is not paying you on time. You were promised paychecks on Feb. 7 but they were not delivered on that date. Under both federal and state minimum wage laws, when the employer does not pay workers as promised, they have paid less than the minimum wage. Therefore, they are in violation of the law.

In addition, they are in violation of the Kentucky Wage Payment law, which requires employers to pay workers in full on payday.

We will say that in many cases when an employer starts “dinking around” with paydays, it is because the company is going out of business. They no longer have the money to meet payroll, and will take desperate measures to try to keep operating. Most of the time, once an employer starts these tactics, they eventually close their doors. If that happens, the employees may be owed wages that are never paid. So the long-term solution is probably to look for another job, ASAP. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

Susan

February 10, 2011 at 12:48 am

I work in a food plant and in my department one of the jobs is at a freezer that is about 20 degrees below zero. I was being put on this job for weeks at a time and kept getting bronchitis. My doctor wrote a note that stated I should avoid tempratures below 40 degrees because I have Reactive Airway Disease and allergies. She also included in the note that dust is a common trigger to this. She also completed FMLA papers for me. When I went to work tonight I was not on the schedule and the safety leader said because of my restrictions I was not able to work in any department. There are jobs there that are in warm rooms that I would be able to work in. I have been there for 5 years and I am wondering are they right to be refusing to let me work in one of these other departments or can they legally get rid of me because of my illness. I am really worried because I need my job and my insurance. Please help..Thank You

Amelia

February 10, 2011 at 8:30 am

Hi Susan! Yes, they can really do this. In fact, they have to, because there could be dust in any of the work areas.

Your doctor does not dictate your working conditions, any more than your supervisor at work decides whether you need an antibiotic or surgery. The doctor can give you a note that lists your physical limitations. This puts you on “light duty.” If the employer has a job (that you are qualified to do) that is within those restrictions, then they may temporarily assign you to that job, until you have improved and the restrictions have been lifted. If the employer has no job that meets the “light duty” restrictions, then you must be off work until the restrictions are lifted.

The problem is that unless you live in a plastic bubble, there is almost no place on Earth that is free of dust. So the employer cannot assign you to an area free of dust. (Your doctor might have meant “free of excessive dust” but that apparently is not what the note said.) Your doctor needs to provide you with a release that you can perform all your usual job duties except you must work in an environment where the temperature is 40 degrees or warmer. Otherwise, you are physically unable to do your job. Based on the information from your doctor, if you do not recover, you may never be physically able to do your job.

It may also have confused the issue when the doctor filled out FMLA papers. Normally FMLA is for unpaid time off due to an illness. The employer may have understood this to mean that you were taking several weeks off from work.

The ADA or Americans with Disabilities Act protects employees with a permanent disability. Bronchitis is not a permanent disability, and usually allergies are not, either. Reactive Airway Disease might be a permanent disability if you are never expected to recover from it. After you are recovered from the bronchitis, you could contact the employer and let them know that you are requesting “a reasonable accommodation under ADA” for your disability. (You should use exactly those words. ) The accommodation you are requesting is an assignment to a warmer room. Again, this will only work if your doctor agrees that Reactive Airway Disease meets the EEOC definition of a permanent disability, and if she will lift the no-dust restriction.

If you do not have a disability, then the employer is not required to reassign you. Your choices at that point would be to continue to work in the freezer, or to quit your job. For the long-term solution, it sounds like you are not physically able to do this job, and should look for another type of work. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

Read more about the ADA definition of a disability here: http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/902cm.html
http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/qanda_adaaa_nprm.html

Mary Hyson

February 17, 2011 at 10:22 pm

I have a co-worker who went into the company payroll and saw how much I make an hour. She is just part time I am fulltime. She aked my manger why I make more money than her and she should be paid the same. Is there any law that I can press charges against her for going into personnel file records where she did not belong. Won’t that be trespassing into the file she had no right to be in? Or maybe she went into my pocket book looking for my paystub. She is a very sneaky person always trying to sabotage me at work. Just to let you know my parents own the business and my boss is my brother in law but the co worker is his friend.

Amelia

February 17, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Hi Mary! If an employee genuinely accessed payroll records in the company computer without permission, she could be fired, or charged with a computer crime in many states. However, it would be the employer, not you, who would have to file a complaint with the police because they are the ones who own the computer.

There is actually no federal or state law that prohibits coworkers from accessing personnel records, as long as the employer does not mind. Nor is there any law that your employer must keep your salary secret.

Really, you don’t know how she found out what you were being paid. It seems likely that you brother mentioned it, or that she just guessed. That guess was confirmed when she complained about your higher salary. This is a difficult situation but so far, she has not done anything illegal as far as we can tell. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

staffgirl

March 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm

I work for a meat packing plant that is requiring me to wear “their” boots. I have attempted to wear them in the past and they have hurt my legs, my back, and my feet. I broke my ankle as a teenager and it did not grow back the way that it should have and I am unable to wear lace up boots. When this issue came up a few years ago, I gave them a doctor’s note which they have misplaced. I have since switched doctors and my old chart has been purged so I have no access to the original. I took the tags from the boots that I bought and they approved them and when our QC person was walking the floor the other day, she spotted my boots and wanted to know why I did not have blue shoe strings in my boots. They are pullovers! I cannot wear laceups and they should have a doctors note stating that fact. I received a phone call today stating that if I come to work without laceup boots, then I will be sent home. Is this legal? This is not a new rule that they have just come up with, we have had to wear “their boots” for years. I have worn my own since then and they have never had a problem with them until now. Also, we have a new nurse there who is insisting that we be weighed and our blood pressure be taken and she has informed some of the employees that if they do not see a doctor for their blood pressure then they may not be able to return to work unless they do. I have 2 doctors that monitor my weight and my blood pressure and this is a meat packing plant and I really don’t feel that this is any of their concern if it is not inhibiting my ability to perform my job duties, I feel the same way about the boots! In fact, when I wore “their boots” I fell. I have yet to fall while wearing my own.

Amelia

March 11, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Hi staffgirl! The boot situation appears to be just a miscommunication. It would be great if providing one doctor’s note worked permanently, but that is not always the case. You can never assume that a new manager knows about the conversations you have had with managers in the past, or the information in your personnel file. You need to start off fresh with each new manager, and explain the situation in a calm, tactful, respectful way.

You should tactfully advise HR (not QC ) that you have a medical condition that makes it impossible for you to wear lace-up boots. Unfortunately, you may have to supply a new doctor’s note to back this up. Your old injury may be a disability under ADA, and if so then the employer would have to make reasonable accommodations by allowing you to wear boots without laces. You may have to use the words “I request an accommodation for a disability under ADA.” Otherwise, the employer is not required to offer any accommodation or make an exception for you.

The ADA standards for a disability are fairly broad since they were expanded in 2009. However, if your old injury does not meet that standard, the employer is not required to modify the footwear requirement for you. We agree that making an exception in your case would be reasonable, but not all employers are reasonable.

High blood pressure is also a disability under ADA. Being overweight may be a perceived disability under the same law. It is illegal disability discrimination for an employer to make employment decisions (including scheduling) based upon medical information, under ADA. We have some sympathy for the employer in this case. It sounds like they want employees to be healthy, which is a good thing. However, they may be going about it in a way that is illegal discrimination.

In some occupations such as airline pilot, there are safety concerns about allowing an employee with dangerously high blood pressure to work. An employer might be concerned that an employee who operates machinery could have a stroke and cause an accident that would injure others. However, in most jobs it would be unlawful under ADA to make scheduling decisions based upon an employee’s medical information.

You say that the company nurse has “threatened” to send people home, but never actually done it. We suspect that she is merely trying to earn her salary by nagging employees to be healthier. There are excellent blood pressure medications available that can extend anyone’s life. Many doctors write themselves a prescription for an ACE inhibitor even if they don’t have high blood pressure. However, again, it is unlikely that the employer can terminate an eployee for having high blood pressure or being overweight. If these problems continue, you may want to file a complaint of disability discrimination with the EEOC at http://www.eeoc.gov. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

Betty boop

March 29, 2011 at 5:00 am

Hello. I had a couple of questions. What is the law about seeing our work time. Right now ihave no way to see my hours that work. Nor my vacation time or sick time. Is it against the law to not be able to see my time or access my time or see it before payroll goes in. And I was told I never get to see it.
Is it legal to pay overtime with straight time pay?

Amelia

March 29, 2011 at 7:07 am

Hi Betty! There is no law Kentucky or most states that requires an employer to give workers access to payroll records before the paychecks are issued. The best practice is for an employee to keep her own written record of hours worked each day, such as: Monday 5/1 8:07 to 4:29. The best practice is for the employer to list hours worked, sick and vacation time, pay rate and total wages on the paycheck stub. If you are not receiving a paycheck stub, you should check with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet at http://www.labor.ky.gov/ows/employmentstandards/wagehourregulations.htm. Generally Kentucky employers must pay overtime after 40 hours. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

Bridgett Jones

July 31, 2014 at 6:14 am

I need to know how to get labor laws changed in ky. I work for Hitachi in berea ky working 11 hrs everyday and 7 days a week. What are the steps needed to change this? This is no way to live but I have been here for 13 years and I can’t afford to lose the incom but I want a regular life. What doi need?

Amelia

August 1, 2014 at 9:20 am

Bridgett, this is a tough situation and you are totally right…working 77 hours per week makes it very hard to find work/life balance. In Kentucky as in other states, the state legislature establishes employment laws, so your first step would be to contact your state representative, and possibly organize a grassroots political movement to reform the labor laws.

Unfortunately, that effort is probably doomed to failure. Nationwide, there is no state that restricts how many hours employees over 18 can work per week, or how many hours an employer can schedule a worker. That’s partly because while some employees advocate for a limited work week, others demand the right to work as many hours as they like. In a few states, laws limiting the number of hours a woman could work per week (but not the number of hours a man could work) have met with outrage. So while we have a lot of sympathy for your situation, changing it by asking the state to pass a new law is probably not practical.

If you are a nonexempt employee, you should be paid overtime after 40 hours. Sadly, if you are an exempt employee, you are only entitled to your weekly salary (although candidly, that salary should be more than paid by other jobs that offer a 40 to 50 hour average work week.) We will say that although this is changing somewhat, employers in Japan are famous for requiring salaried employees to work 80, 90 and even 120+ hours per week. So it may be that your Japan-based company has a different idea of normal work hours than you do.

Generally, state departments of labor stick to the concept that work schedule is a private matter between the employer and employee. They assume that if an employee finds the schedule too demanding, he or she will simply look for a different job. We realize that’s not always a practical solution in the real world.

Shawn

October 31, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Are gasstations required to provide lunch breaks? I worked at one and they provided only 1 lunch break the whole time.

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