Burden of proof. If the employer is charged with retaliatory discharge, the employer is innocent until proven guilty. While this rule affords some protection to the employer, circumstantial evidence, such as a string of good evaluations followed by a sudden turnaround, can be devastating. As a result, if you terminate an employee who has filed a safety complaint, a discrimination claim, etc., it is essential to be able to show conclusively, with both testimony and documentation, that the “protected” conduct was in no way related to the discharge.
Discrimination. Kentucky employers cannot discipline or discharge an employee on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age (40 years and older), disability, smoker or nonsmoker status, or for complaining about a violation of antidiscrimination laws (KY Rev. Stat. Sec. 344.040).
Although the antidiscrimination laws are aimed mainly at intentional conduct, there may also be a risk of liability even when there is no intent on the part of the employer to discriminate—as, for example, when a layoff has a “disparate impact” on some protected group.
HIV testing. No employer may require an employee to take an HIV test, unless it can prove that the absence of HIV is a bona fide occupational qualification for the job in question. Additionally, employees cannot be discharged because they are licensed healthcare professionals who treat and provide patient care to people ...