Kentucky Supreme Court Rules to Allow Unpaid Wage Lawsuits in State Court

September 7, 2017

Kentucky Supreme Court Rules to Allow Unpaid Wage Lawsuits in State Court

Last week, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled to allow wage and hour class actions for unpaid wages to be filed in state court, potentially exposing Kentucky employers to greater future liability.

 Kentucky law has previously allowed individuals who can prove minimum wage, overtime, and other wage and hour violations to seek legal remedies administratively. However, those seeking to bring a claim under the Kentucky Wage and Hours Act were not permitted to bring their claim directly in court. Instead, their case needed to first be considered by an administrative agency before the matter could come before a judge, a process that was typically burdensome and time-consuming.

 Implications for Kentucky Employers

This decision is very significant for Kentucky employers since the Kentucky Wage and Hours Act provides a much stronger solution for those alleging wage and hour violations as compared to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).KY supreme court

  •  Under the FLSA, employees wanting to join a class action, or collective action, are required to opt in to the litigation by signing a written consent form, something only 10 – 20 percent of employees actually do. Under the Kentucky Wage and Hours Act, unpaid wage violations, “may be maintained in any court of competent jurisdiction by any one (1) or more employees for an in behalf of himself, herself, or themselves.”
  •  While the FLSA has a statute of limitations of only two years (or three years for a willful violation), the Kentucky law allows plaintiffs five years to bring a wage and hour claim.

 If you have been the victim of some type of wage and hour violation at the hands of your employer, contact Murray & Murray online or call 419-624-3000 (toll free 1-800-624-3009) to set up your free, risk-free initial consultation with one of our employment law attorneys today.

 

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