Kentucky Law Update

Pregnancy Related Discrimination

On April 9, 2019, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed legislation (S.B. 18) amending the state’s Civil Rights Act as follows:

·         The definition of covered employer includes, except for purposes of determining accommodations for an employee’s own limitations related to her pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, a person who has 15 or more employees within the state in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year and any agent of the person.

·         The definition of reasonable accommodation may include, for an employee’s own limitations related to her pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, more frequent or longer breaks, time off to recover from childbirth, acquisition or modification of equipment, appropriate seating, temporary transfer to a less strenuous or less hazardous position, job restructuring, light duty, modified work schedule, and private space that is not a bathroom for expressing breast milk.

·         That a related medical condition includes but is not limited to lactation or the need to express breast milk for a nursing child and has the same meaning as in the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

·         Whether an accommodation causes an undue hardship for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions, takes into consideration the duration of the requested accommodation and whether similar accommodations are required by policy to be made, have been made, or are being made for other employees due to any reason.

·         Making it unlawful for an employer to fail to accommodate an employee affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.

·         Requiring employers to provide written notice to all employees regarding the right to be free from discrimination for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions as follows:

·         At the commencement of employment for new employees; and

·         No later than July 28, 2019 (30 days after the legislation’s effective date) to existing employees.

·         Requiring employers to conspicuously post a written notice of the right to be free from discrimination in relation to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions, including the right to reasonable accommodations, at the employer’s place of business in an area accessible to employees.

The law is effective June 27, 2019.

Read KY S.B. 18

Employment Agreements

On March 25, 2019, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed legislation (S.B. 7) allowing all of the following:

·         Arbitration, mediation, or alternative dispute resolution agreements to be required by employers as a condition or precondition to employment;

·         A waiver of a claim to be required as a condition or precondition for rehiring of an employee;

·         An agreement to reduce the period for limitations as a condition or precondition of employment, as long as the agreement:

·         Does not apply to state or federal law that preempts modifying limitations; and

·         Does not reduce the period of limitations by more than 50 percent of applicable time under the claim.

·         An employee to be required to agree to a background check as a condition or precondition of employment in conformity with a state of federal law requiring background checks; however, employers must obtain the employee’s consent prior to receipt or use of the background check.

 

 

 

 

Additionally, under the law, arbitration agreements between an employer and employee:

·         Are subject to general contract defenses;

·         Must safeguard effective vindication of legal rights; and

·         Arbitrators must disqualify themselves if there are conflicts.

All of these provisions are applicable retroactively and prospectively. However, they do not apply to collective bargaining agreements between employer and representatives of member employees.

The law is effective June 26, 2019.

Read KY S.B. 7

KentuckyAmanda S