Kentucky News & Analysis

  • Kentucky high court declines to expand at-will public policy exception

    The Kentucky Supreme Court recently confirmed that public policy exceptions to the at-will employment doctrine are limited to refusals to violate a law or alleged breaches of laws with an employment-related nexus. Being terminated for telling coworkers that a supervisor had to register as a sex offender won't support a public policy wrongful discharge claim.

  • How to identify and minimize employee burnout

    You may have seen reports recently that the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified employee burnout as a diagnosable medical condition. While that's not exactly accurate, the group has expanded its definition of the term in its latest edition of the International Classification of Diseases.

  • Paying employee more than promised doesn't violate wage law or invalidate noncompete

    An employment agreement with a noncompete implemented after the hire is supported by adequate consideration (i.e., something of value given in return for signing it) if it alters the relationship. Paying an employee more than the agreement set forth doesn't breach the arrangement or violate Kentucky wage and hour law.

  • Individual coverage HRAs probably not option for 2020

    On his very first day in office, President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order instructing federal agencies to lessen the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) burden on the organizations and individuals who were subject to its requirements. More than two years later, the ACA is limping along, but the Trump administration is still working to carry out that order.

  • Employer's antimilitary animus leads to potentially dishonorable . . . termination

    An employee's claim of wrongful termination in violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) survived summary judgment (i.e., it wasn't dismissed without a trial) because issues of fact remained about whether his military status was a motivating factor in the discharge decision.

  • Supervisor's stray remark fails to bolster fired KY refinery worker's race bias claim

    The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky recently dismissed a former employee's race discrimination claim for failure to establish a prima facie (or minimally sufficient) case. A supervisor's comment that the employee "did not look like an oil refinery operator," without more, didn't prove racial animus on the employer's part.

  • Olive Garden applicant, sent home on day two, can't prove race bias

    A job applicant couldn't make her case that an Olive Garden restaurant fired or failed to hire her because of her skin color, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky recently concluded.

  • DOL updates opinion on independent contractors for the gig economy

    Under the Trump administration, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has taken a decidedly industry-friendly approach to the independent contractor analysis. If there was any doubt before, that was made clear by its recent issuance of a whopping 10-page opinion letter examining the nature of the relationship between a virtual marketplace company (think Uber) and the "gig" workers they employ (e.g., Uber drivers).

  • When is temporary impairment a disability under ADA? 6th Circuit chimes in

    The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings affect all Kentucky employers) recently cast doubt on an employee's claim that his hand laceration and associated temporary restrictions constituted a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

  • Supreme Court ruling raises stakes in Title VII claims

    If an employee files a timely Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charge, can she later raise new discrimination allegations after the filing deadline has passed? That's the issue addressed in a new decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. Spoiler alert: The answer is no, unless the employer—or more accurately, its attorney—doesn't notice. To understand the Court's ruling, it's helpful to understand the EEOC's role in discrimination claims.