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Kentucky Rest Periods: What you need to know

Federal wage and hour law does not require that employees be provided either paid or unpaid rest or meal periods. Whether breaks are required is left up to the states. Kentucky requires meal breaks and rest breaks in certain circumstances.
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U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division regulations do specify when work breaks that are provided, including meal periods, rest periods, and sleeping time, must be counted as work time subject to federal minimum wage and overtime requirements (29 CFR 785.18 through 785.23).
Meals. Employers must allow their employees a meal period of reasonable length as close to the middle of their shift as possible. The meal break must be scheduled to come no less than 3 hours or more than 5 hours after the start of a shift. This rule does not negate any provision of a collective bargaining agreement or mutual agreement between the employee and employer (KY Rev. Stat. Sec. 337.355).
Rest breaks. Employees are entitled to a paid rest period lasting at least 10 minutes for every 4 hours worked (KY Rev. Stat. Sec. 337.365).
Employees under the age of 18. No child under the age of 18 may work for more than 5 continuous hours without a lunch period of at least 30 minutes. Employers must keep a record of the beginning and end times of the breaks.
Last reviewed on January 22, 2016.

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