by M. Tyler Reynolds, Esq and Timothy B. George, Jr., Esq.

Employers should be aware that the Kentucky Legislature passed a law shortening the period for claims under the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KCRA), the Kentucky Wage and Hour Act (KWHA), and claims of wrongful discharge violating public policy. 

On July 15, 2024, employees who previously were afforded a five-year statute of limitations to assert claims of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and wrongful discharge under the KCRA, wage and hour violations under KWHA, and common law wrongful discharge in violation of public policy will now only have three (3) years to assert such claims.

This change in law is not retroactive so any claims previously filed in a lawsuit are not impacted. However, new claims asserted in a lawsuit filed on or after July 15, 2024, are now limited to three years. This is a significant reduction in the limitation period and was passed by Kentucky’s Legislature as House Bill 320 to provide relief to employers from the uncertainty of claims, to lessen the burden of retaining records and reduce legal fees.

Employers can prepare for this change in law by reviewing their employment agreements and any retention policies. For employers who have arbitration provisions in their employment contracts, in accordance with KRS § 336.700, they may want to consider revising any reduction in the period of limitations to fifty percent (50%) of the new limitation period. That is the statutory maximum reduction allowed under KRS § 336.700(3)(c). In application, this means Kentucky employers can now effectively reduce the statute of limitations from three years to eighteen (18) months for these types of claims. 

If you have any questions about the change in this statute of limitations or how it affects policies in your workplace, please contact one of Reminger’s Employment Law attorneys.

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