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Payment of Wages: Kentucky

Payment of Wages requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Vicki M. Lambert, The Payroll Advisor


  • The term wages is specifically defined in the Kentucky wage payment law. See Definition of Wages.
  • Kentucky employers may pay employees in cash or by check, direct deposit or paycard so long as certain requirements are met. See Wage Payment Methods.
  • Employees must be paid at least semimonthly, no later than 18 days after the end of each pay period. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Pay Frequency.
  • Employers are either permitted to make, or prohibited from making, certain types of pay deductions from the wages of employees. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Permitted and Prohibited Wage Deductions.
  • Employers that have 10 or more employees must provide all employees with a pay statement, which must include certain information, at the time wages are paid. Electronic delivery of pay statements is permitted under certain conditions. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Pay Statement Requirements.
  • Employees who are terminated, whether involuntarily or voluntarily, must be paid all wages earned by the next regular payday, or within 14 days after the termination date, whichever is later. The payment of employees for unused vacation time upon termination of employment depends on the employer's policy or past practice. Noncompliance penalties are imposed. See Final Pay.
  • After the death of an employee, employers must follow specific procedures in order to properly turn over any compensation owed to the deceased employee. See Deceased Employee Wages.
  • Wages are considered abandoned property if they are unclaimed by an employee for three years. Kentucky employers are required to file a report of unclaimed wages over $50 at certain times of the year. They also must send due diligence notices to employees with unclaimed wages. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Unclaimed Wages.