Kentucky Minimum Wage Laws Kentucky Minimum Wage for 2023, 2024

2024 Hourly Minimum Wage
$7.25 / hour
Weekly Minimum Wage1
$290.00 / 40-hr week
Yearly Minimum Wage2
$15,080.00 / year

Kentucky's state minimum wage rate is $7.25 per hour. This is the same as the current Federal Minimum Wage rate. The minimum wage applies to most employees in Kentucky, with limited exceptions including tipped employees, some student workers, and other exempt occupations.

The Kentucky minimum wage was last changed in 2008, when it was raised $0.70 from $6.55 to $7.25.

Kentucky's minimum wage remains $7.25 per hour since July 1, 2009. Kentucky adopts the Federal Minimum Wage rate by reference if the federal rate should rise above the state rate. Standard exemptions to Kentucky's minimum wage include farmand domestic workers, government employees, and certain employees at small retail businesses.

LOCAL MINIMUM WAGE In 2015, the cities of Lexington and Louisville passed legislation to raise local minimum wages. Louisville's minimum wage was raised to $7.75 on July 1 2015 and to $8.20 on July 1 2016. On October 20 2016, the Kentucky State Supreme Court struck down these raises and returned minimum wage to the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour, ruling that Kentucky cities do not have the authority to raise the minimum wage.

Kentucky employers may not pay you under $7.25 per hour unless you or your occupation are specifically exempt from the minimum wage under state or federal law.

If you have questions about the Kentucky minimum wage, please ask us and someone will respond to you as soon as possible. Looking for a new job? Use the free Kentucky job search utility to find local job openings hiring now.

All Kentucky employers must display an approved Kentucky minimum wage poster in a prominent place to inform employees about the minimum wage and their worker's rights under Kentucky labor law.

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Kentucky Labor Law Posters Kentucky Minimum Wage & Labor Law Posters

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Kentucky labor law requires all employers in Kentucky to visibly display an approved Kentucky minimum wage poster, and other Kentucky and federal labor law posters, to ensure that all employees are aware of federal and Kentucky labor law and overtime regulations. Failure to display a Kentucky labor law poster in the workplace can result in severe fines.

Get a Kentucky all-in-one labor law poster

Instead of printing out pages of mandatory Kentucky and Federal labor law posters, you can purchase a professional, laminated all-in-one labor law poster that guarantees compliance with all Kentucky and federal posting requirements. Fully updated for June 2017!

Get All-In-One Poster Now

The Kentucky minimum wage poster, and additional required Kentucky labor law posters, are also available on the Kentucky labor law posters download page.

Kentucky Overtime Minimum Wage Kentucky Overtime Minimum Wage

KY Overtime Wage
$10.88 / hour
Daily Cutoff for Overtime
Weekly Cutoff for Overtime
40 hours/week

All workers who put in over 40 weekly hours are entitled to a minimum wage of at least 1.5 times the regular applicable minimum wage (learn more about Kentucky overtime pay). Some states require workers who work over a certain number of daily hours to be eligible for this overtime rate as well (Kentucky law does not specify a daily overtime limit).

The FLSA guarantees all KY employees adequate overtime compensation for all qualifying overtime hours worked. If your employer does not pay adequate overtime wages, you can file an unpaid overtime claim with the Kentucky Department of Labor.

Kentucky Minimum Wage Exemptions Kentucky Minimum Wage Exemptions

In addition to any Kentucky-specific minimum wage exemptions described above, the Federal Fair Labor Standards act defines special minimum wage rates applicable to certain types of workers. You may be paid under the Kentucky minimum wage if you fit into one of the following categories:

  • Kentucky Under 20 Minimum Wage - $4.25 - Federal law allows any employer in Kentucky to pay a new employee who is under 20 years of age a training wage of $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days of employment.
  • Kentucky Student Minimum Wage - $6.16 - Full-time high school or college students who work part-time may be paid 85% of the Kentucky minimum wage (as little as $6.16 per hour) for up to 20 hours of work per week at certain employers (such as work-study programs at universities).
  • Kentucky Tipped Minimum Wage - See Here - Employees who earn a certain amount of tips every month may be paid a lower cash minimum wage, but must earn at least $7.25 including tips every hour. For more details, read about the Kentucky tipped minimum wage.

Kentucky Minimum Wage Exemptions Frequently Asked Questions - Kentucky Minimum Wage & Labor Law

What is the Kentucky minimum wage?

The current Kentucky minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is the lowest amount a non-exempt employee in Kentucky can legally be paid for hourly work. Special minimum wage rates, such as the "Kentucky waitress minimum wage" for tipped employees, may apply to certain workers.[1]

How much will I earn working a minimum wage jobin Kentucky?

A full time minimum wage worker in Kentucky working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, will earn $58.00 per day, $290.00 per week, and $15,080.00 per year1. The national poverty line for a family unit consisting of two people is $16,020.00 per year.

What is the Kentucky under 18 minimum wage?

Kentucky employers may pay 18 year olds and minors the youth minimum wage of $4.25 for the first 90 days of employment. Other labor law exemptions for minors in Kentucky may exist.

I still can't find the answer to my question about the Kentucky minimum wage!

If you have read the FAQ and still cannot find the information you need, please contact us with your question.

1 These earnings estimates do not account for the Kentucky income tax External Link, federal income tax, or local/municipal income taxes.
2 Poverty line for a family of two in the lower 48 published 2016 by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services External Link

Labor Law Footnotes, Sources & Citations:

  1. The weekly earnings estimate of $290.00 is based on a standard 40-hour workweek
  2. The yearly earnings estimate of $15,080.00 is based on 52 standard 40-hour work weeks. Since most hourly employees don't work full time and/or take time off, actual yearly earnings will likely be lower.

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