Kentucky State Minimum Wage

Author: Jason Coles

Updated On:

Updated On:

In 2024, the Kentucky minimum wage remains at $7.25 per hour. The state’s minimum wage rate has remained the same for over a decade.

Despite some lawmakers making a push to see the statewide minimum wage rate reach $15 per hour, breaking away from the federal minimum wage, it remains unlikely to occur.

As an employer in Kentucky, it is your responsibility to know how much you should be paying your employees as well as the labor laws concerning the minimum wage.

Equally, as an employee in Kentucky, you should have an understanding of the minimum wage you are entitled to as well as your rights as a worker.

If you are a full-time worker on minimum wage in Kentucky, your earnings could be as follows:

  • Daily Minimum Wage: $58.00 (based on an 8-hour working day).
  • Weekly Minimum Wage: $290.00 (based on a 40-hour week).
  • Monthly Minimum Wage: $1,160.00 (based on a 160-hour week).
  • Yearly Minimum Wage: $15,080.00 (based on being paid 52 weeks per year).

Something important to note is that this is before any income tax has been deducted.

Like many other states, there have been talks over the Kentucky state minimum wage increasing incrementally over the next seven years or so.

There are a couple of bills that have been pre-filled, but unfortunately, there has been nothing officially confirmed yet.

The graphic below highlights the Kentucky minimum wage over the past several years.

As you can see – the minimum wage did not go up and remains at $7.25 per hour in 2024:

Kentucky minimum wage

Kentucky’s minimum wage is not just $7.25 per hour for everyone – there are a few minimum wage exemptions to be aware of!

Kentucky Minimum Wage Exemptions

In addition to the regular minimum wage rate, there are a few Kentucky state minimum wage exemptions that typically depend on your age or employment situation.

Below are the various minimum wage exemptions with some situational examples.

Kentucky Student Minimum Wage

The minimum wage for student employees in Kentucky is 85% of the Kentucky state minimum wage, making their hourly pay $6.16 per hour in 2024.

This hourly rate is for any hours worked up to 20 hours per week. As a student employee, once you surpass 20 hours per week, you will be eligible for the Kentucky state minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour.

Being a student can be financially challenging, leading many students to pick up part-time jobs to make extra money while studying.

Despite a student minimum wage rate, many Kentucky employers will not necessarily follow it and pay you equal to or more than the statewide minimum wage.

Many work-study programs are available at universities, which is a route many students go down. Still, coffee shop, cafe, bar, and restaurant jobs are commonly taken by students as they can work them into their class schedule.

Kentucky Under 20 Minimum Wage

If you are under 20 years old in Kentucky, federal law allows your employer to pay you as little as $4.25 per hour for your first 90 days of employment.

Once the 90-day period is over, you will be eligible to be paid the 2024 Kentucky state minimum wage of $7.25 per hour or potentially even more.

Fortunately for young workers, this is 90 calendar days and not 90 working days; therefore, it can be completed relatively quickly and within about three months.

Kentucky Tipped Minimum Wage

If you are a tipped employee in Kentucky (someone who receives regular tips as a part of their job) then you are eligible to be paid a minimum wage of $2.13 per hour, with a tip credit of $5.12 per hour, ensuring that you reach the statewide minimum wage regardless if you make enough hourly tips.

Kentucky Overtime Minimum Wage

Once you work over 40 hours a week, you can be paid an overtime rate of 1.5 times your hourly wage for every hour you work past 40.

So, the overtime minimum wage in Kentucky is $10.88 per hour, 1.5 times the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Other Minimum Wage Exemptions in Kentucky

Here are the rest of the Kentucky minimum wage exemptions via employment situations:

  • Agriculture workers.
  • Anyone employed in an executive, administrative, supervisory, or professional capacity.
  • Outside salespeople or outside collectors.
  • Employees of the U.S. government.
  • Domestic service employees.
  • Apprentices, disabled workers, and other employees under an approved state government program.
  • Retail employees for a business with less than $95,000 annual gross volume of sales for the last 5 years.
  • Anyone employed by a member of their immediate family.
  • Babysitters and caretakers.
  • Newspaper deliverer.
  • Employees of an organized nonprofit camp, religious, or educational center that operates less than 210 days in a calendar year.
  • Individuals providing 24-hour care to neglected and abused children through childcare facilities.
  • Individuals providing 24-hour care to disabled adults in their own homes through an adult foster care organization.
  • Direct sellers.

Kentucky Minimum Wage History

The table below shows the history of Kentucky’s minimum wage over the years since 1983.

You can see when there were increases in the minimum wage, how much they were, and what percentage increase it represented.

YearMinimum WageIncrease ($)Increase (%)
2024$7.25$00%
2023$7.25$00%
2022$7.25$00%
2021$7.25$00%
2020$7.25$00%
2019$7.25$00%
2018$7.25$00%
2017$7.25$00%
2016$7.25$00%
2015$7.25$00%
2014$7.25$00%
2013$7.25$00%
2012$7.25$00%
2011$7.25$00%
2010$7.25$00%
2009$7.25$0.7010.6%
2008$6.55$00%
2007$5.85$0.7013.59%
2006$5.15$00%
2005$5.15$00%
2004$5.15$00%
2003$5.15$00%
2002$5.15$00%
2001$5.15$00%
2000$5.15$00%
1999$5.15$00%
1998$5.15$0.9021.17%
1997$4.25$00%
1996$4.25$00%
1995$4.25$00%
1994$4.25$00%
1993$4.25$00%
1992$4.25$00%
1991$4.25$0.4511.84%
1990$3.80$0.4513.43%
1989$3.35$00%
1988$3.35$00%
1987$3.35$00%
1986$3.35$0.7528.84%
1985$2.60$00%
1984$2.60$00%
1983$2.60$00%

If you are interested in learning the US minimum wage rates in all 50 states, in addition to Kentucky – take a look at our specific guide on this.

Kentucky Labor Law Poster and Education and Labor Cabinet Contact Details

As a Kentucky employer, you need to keep yourself compliant with the law. To do this, you need to display a Kentucky Labor Law poster in a prominent place.

The good news is that you can acquire one of these posters for free from the Labor Cabinet website, and download the poster.

If you wish to contact the cabinet directly, here are all of the contact details you need:

Education and Labor Cabinet
500 Mero Street
Frankfort, KY 40601
Telephone: (502) 564-3070
Email: Scott.Wilhoit@ky.gov

Minimum Wage Rates for each State

Kentucky

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Jason Coles

Jason Coles is the Founder of Foreign USA and its Chief Content Writer and Editor. Recognized as a prolific business plan writer by many prominent immigration attorneys in the U.S. who refer his services to their clients regularly, Jason has written over 1,365 business plans across the past 17+ years for start-up companies and franchises looking to expand their footprint in the United States. Jason is considered a seasoned expert in his field. He creates detailed business plans for his clients that include five-year financial projections, market and industry analysis reports, demographic studies, organizational charts, job descriptions, employee hiring plans, and more.