Kentucky Termination (with Discharge) laws & HR compliance analysis

Kentucky Termination (with Discharge): What you need to know

Kentucky is an “employment-at-will” state. Therefore, an employer may generally terminate an employment relationship at any time and for any reason. However, while this is true in theory, Kentucky statutes and courts have changed the traditional doctrine to some degree.
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As a general rule, if a federal, state, or local law grants employees the right to engage in an activity or to enjoy a benefit, employees should never be disciplined, discharged, or otherwise retaliated against for requesting or attempting to do so.
To list a few key examples, state law prohibits employers from discharging employees for engaging in the following activities:
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 infected with HIV (KY Rev. Stat. Sec. 207.135).
Jury duty/court appearances. Employers may not discipline or discharge employees for receiving or responding to a summons, serving as a juror, attending court for prospective jury service, or appearing as a witness in a court or administrative hearing. Employees who must be absent to appear as a witness must give notice to their employer by presenting a copy of the court or administrative certificate (KY Rev. Stat. Sec. 29A.160 andSec. 337.415).
Military service. No employer may discharge an employee because the employee is a member of the Kentucky National Guard or Kentucky active militia (KY Rev. Stat. Sec. 38.460).
Volunteer emergency workers. It is unlawful for ...

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