The Kentucky Equal Pay Law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees in the same establishment on the basis of sex by paying wages to any employee in any occupation in the state at a wage rate less than the rate paid to any employee of the opposite sex for comparable work on jobs that require comparable skill, effort, and responsibility (KY Stat. Sec. 337.420 et seq.). Differences in pay based on a seniority or merit system are not unlawful.
The Law covers employers with two or more employees, but it does not apply to employers that are covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when the federal requirements are comparable to, or greater than, state requirements. An employer must notify the Kentucky Department of Labor in writing that it is covered by the FLSA.
According to regulations issued by the state Human Rights Commission, jobs that require comparable skill, effort, and responsibility in their performance are typically not identical in every respect. Under the regulations, "inconsequential differences" in job content are not be a valid excuse for payment of a lower wage to an employee of one sex than to an employee of the opposite sex if the employees are performing essentially the same jobs in the same establishment (803 KY Admin. Rules Sec. 1:025).
Under the Equal Pay Law, it is unlawful for an employer to:
• Reduce the wage rate of any employee in order to comply with the Law's requirements.
• Discharge or otherwise discriminate against any employee for exercising protected rights or assisting in the enforcement of the Law.
• Enter into an agreement with an employee to pay less than the wage rate to which the employee is entitled.