Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Is my employer covered by FMLA?

    The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to the following employers:

    • private companies that have at least 50 employees

    • public entities including state and local governments and school systems

    If you have questions about your rights under the FMLA, contact Lexington, Kentucky FMLA and employment lawyer Robert Abell at 859-254-7076.

     

  • Are store managers exempt from overtime in Kentucky?

    The job title of "store manager" and being paid a salary does not mean that the employee is exempt from overtime in Kentucky.  Whether a "store manager" is exempt from overtime is determined by whether or not the actual job duties are more manual than managerial.  This means that the question must be answered depending on the facts of the individual situation.

    As a further illustration, Dollar General store managers were awarded some $35 million of unpaid overtime in Morgan v. Dollar General Family Stores.  This case is discussed by Robert Abell at the Kentucky Employment Law Blog: Overtime Case Yields $35 Million To Dollar General Store Managers.

    If you have questions about whether you are exempt from overtime, contact Lexington, Kentucky overtime lawyer Robert Abell at 859-254-7076. 
     

  • How do I prove that my company has a "glass ceiling" for women?

    There is no one way to prove that a company has a "glass ceiling" for women or for anybody else for that matter; each case has to be viewed on its own facts. 

    But it is possible to get guidance from other cases and situations.  See the court's decision in Conti v. American Axle and Robert Abell's discussion at Sex Discrimination and the Glass Ceiling.

    If you have suffered sex discrimination or discrimination because of a glass ceiling, contact Lexington, Kentucky discrimination lawyer Robert Abell at 859-254-7076. 

  • Are lunch breaks paid in Kentucky?

    Kentucky law does not require an employer to pay an employee for their lunch or meal break, provided the employee is truly on break and does not perform substantial work during what is supposed to be their meal or lunch break.  If the employee works during the lunch or meal break, they must be paid.

    Employees are to be allowed a "reasonable" period for a lunch or meal break as close as possible to the middle of their shift.  KRS 337.355. 

    If you have not been paid the wages or overtime owed you, contact Lexington, Kentucky wages and overtime lawyer Robert Abell at 859-254-7076.

     

     

  • Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome a disability?

    For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or any other condition to qualify as a disability covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act is must impose a substantial limitation on a major life activity.  In the case EEOC v. Chevron Phillips, the court ruled that the employee presented sufficient evidence that her Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was a disability because of proof that it substantially limited her in the major life activities of caring for herself, thinking and sleeping.
     

    If you have suffered disability discrimination, contact Lexington, Kentucky disability discrimination lawyer Robert Abell at 859-254-7076.

  • Is an employee entitled to take a lunch break in Kentucky?

    An employee in Kentucky must be allowed a "reasonable" period for a lunch or meal break.  

    The meal break shall be allowed as close as possible to the middle of the employee's shift but not earlier than 3 hours from its beginning or later than 5 hours from its start.

    Source: KRS 337.355

    An employer is not required to pay an employee in Kentucky for their lunch or meal break. However, if the employee performs substantial work during the lunch or meal break, they must be paid.

    If you have not been paid the wages or overtime owed you, contact Lexington, Kentucky wages and overtime lawyer Robert Abell at 859-254-7076. Robert Abell filed a wages and overtime suit on behalf of three former employees because they worked through their supposed meal break and were not paid for the work; read a copy of the complaint here.

  • Do I have to specifically mention the FMLA to be entitled to leave?

    No.  An employee is not required to specifically mention the Family Medical Leave Act to be entitled to FMLA leavet.  What an employee must do is provide the employer with enough information to support a reasonable conclusion by the employer that the employee may need FMLA leave. 

    Lexington, Kentucky FMLA lawyer Robert Abell represents employees in cases under the FMLA; contact him at 859-254-7076. 

  • How long can I receive workers compensation in Kentucky?

    The time span which you can receive Kentucky workers compensation benefits depends on the severity of your injury and the disability rating.

    If you have a permanent partial disability rating of 50% or less, you can receive Kentucky workers compensation benefits for 425 weeks.

    If you have a permanent partial disability rating of more than 50%, you can receive Kentucky workers compensation benefits for 520 weeks.

    If you are totally disabled and cannot work any longer, you can receive Kentucky workers compensation benefits up to the time that you reach your full Social Security retirement age. 

    Lexington, Kentucky workers comp lawyer Robert Abell represents individuals and employees in Kentucky workers compensation cases; contact him at 859-254-7076. 

  • Can an employee waive or give up the right to be paid overtime?

    No; an employee may not waive or give up their right to be paid overtime.  Both federal and Kentucky state law state that an employee cannot validly waive or give up his or her right to be paid overtime compensation.

    Lexington, Kentucky overtime lawyer Robert Abell helps individuals and employees recover the overtime they've earned but not been paid; contact him at 859-254-7076. 

  • Do I get a jury trial in a Kentucky workers comp case?

    No; you don't get a jury trial in a Kentucky workers comp case.  Your case will be decided by an administrative law judge (often referred to as an ALJ). .

    If you have been hurt on the job in Kentucky, contact Lexington, Kentuky workers comp lawyer Robert Abell at 859-254-7076. 

  • How do you get a jury trial for a workers comp claim in Kentucky?

    There is no right to a jury trial for a workers comp claim in Kentucky.  If there is a contested hearing in a Kentucky workers compensation claim, it will be before and will be decided by an Administrative Law Judge.  There are 16 Administrative Law Judges in the Kentucky Department of Workers Claims.

    If you have been hurt on the job in Kentucky, contact Lexington, Kentucky workers comp lawyer Robert Abell at 859-254-7076. 

  • Can you sue if you get Kentucky workers compensation benefits?

    It depends.  If you get Kentucky workers compensation benefits, you can't also sue your employer. 

    If a third party was responsible for your work injury, you may be able to sue them.  An example of where you would be able to sue a third party for damages if you also receive Kentucky workers compensation benefits would be a situation where you are driving your employer's vehicle on your job and you are injured due to some other driver's negligence. 

    If you have suffered a work injury and have a claim for Kentucky workers compensation benefits, contact Lexington, Kentucky workers compensation lawyer Robert Abell at 859-254-7076.

     

     

  • Can a medical leave of absence be a reasonable accomodation under the ADA?

    A medical leave of absence can be a reasonable accomodation for a disability under the ADA in certain circumstances. 

    The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which covers Kentucky, made this ruling in Cehrs v. Northeast Ohio Alzheimer's Research Center, 155 F.3d 775 (6th Cir. 1998)

    But please remember and be advised that just because a medical leave of absence is a reasonable accomodation for one employee, it does not mean that another employee is entitled to a medical leave of absence to accomodate his or her disability.  What is or is not a reasonable accomodation requires an individualized, case-by-case assessment.  

    An employee who requires a reasonable accommodation for his or her disability should be prepared to propose one or more specific accommodations. This will likely require some involvement and input from the employee's doctor, who likely will have to certify that the accommodation(s) would beconsistent with any restrictions applicable to the employee because of the disability.

    Lexington, Kentucky disability lawyer Robert Abell represents individuals and employees with a disability in cases arising under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); contact him at 859-254-7076.

  • How long do I have to report a workers compensation injury in Kentucky?

    Kentucky workers compensation law requires an employee to report a workers compensation injury as soon as practicable.  A failure to report a Kentucky workers compensation injury as soon as practicable can result in a denial of Kentucky workers compensation benefits. 

    If you have suffered a work injury in Kentucky and have a claim for Kentucky workers compensation benefits, contact Lexington, Kentucky workers compensation lawyer Robert Abell at 859-254-7076. 

  • What do I do if I'm hurt on the job in Kentucky?

    If you are hurt on the job in Kentucky, you should get the medical care necessary for the treatment of your work injury.  Kentucky workers compensation benefits covers bills for medical care necessary for the treatment of a Kentucky work injury.  You are also required to report the injury as soon as practicable to your employer. 

    If you have been hurt on the job in Kentucky and have a claim for Kentucky workers compensation benefits, contact Lexington, Kentucky workers compensation lawyer Robert Abell at 859-254-7076. 

  • Is vacation pay considered earned wages in Kentucky?

    Kentucky law defines "wages" to include any compensation due to an employee by reason of his employment and specifically includes "vested vacation pay." KRS 337.010. Vested vacation pay should be considered accrued vacation pay.

    Claims for unpaid wages arising from vested vacation pay usually arise when someone leaves a job and the former employer does not want to pay them their vested and unused vacation pay. An example is this lawsuit Complaint for Unpaid Wages -- Vested Vacation Pay filed by Robert Abell to recover vested vacation pay that was not paid to an employee when she left employment.

    Lexington, Kentucky wages and overtime lawyer Robert Abell represents individuals and employees seeking to recover the wages and overtime they've earned but not been paid; contact Robert Abell at 859-254-7076.

  • How long can you wait to file a workers compensation claim in Kentucky?

    You have two years from the date of injury to file your claim for Kentucky workers compensation benefits.

    If you have been hurt on the job in Kentucky and have a claim for Kentucky workers compensation benefits, contact Lexington, Kentucky work injury lawyer Robert Abell at 859-254-7076. 

  • Is chronic fatigue a disability covered by the ADA?

    Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome a "disability" covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)? "Yes" answered the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in its recent decision in EEOC v. Chevron Phillips. The court ruled that the employee presented sufficient evidence that her Chronic Fatigue Syndrome posed a substantial limitation for her in the major life activities of caring for herself, thinking and sleeping.

    For a medical condition to be a "disability" covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act it must pose a substantial limitation on a major life activity.

    If you have suffered disability discrimination, contact Lexington, Kentucky disability discrimination lawyer Robert Abell at 859-254-7076.

  • Can an employee in Kentucky be forced to work off the clock?

    No. If your employer is forcing you to work off the clock and not paying you, it is violating both federal and Kentucky state law.

    An employee must be paid at least minimum wage for all time that they perform work.

    If you are not being paid the wages or overtime you have earned, contact Lexington, Kentucky overtime and wages lawyer Robert Abell at 859-254-7076. 

  • Is my employer covered by the FMLA?

    The Family Medical Leave Act or FMLA (as it is most often referred to) does not apply to or cover all employers or companies.  The FMLA applies to the following employers:

    • Public agencies, including state, local and federal employers, and local education agencies (schools); and
       
    • Private-sector employers and companies who employ 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year and who are engaged in commerce or in any industry or activity affecting commerce - including joint employers and successors of covered employers.

    The Family Medical Leave Act is an important law that provides some protection so that hard-working Americans won't put their job at jeopardy when they are sick of have a family member that is sick and needs to have somebody take care of them. Lexington, Kentucky FMLA lawyer Robert Abell represents individuals and employees in cases where their rights under the FMLA have been threatened or violated.  Contact him at 859-254-7076.