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August 31, 2021

Kentucky law requires that employer leave policies extend to the adoption of a child

On March 23, 2021, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed into law HB 210, which effective June 29, 2021, provides that employers with existing paid or unpaid leave policies for the birth of a child must extend those same leave benefits for adoptions.

Specifically, under new KRS Section 337.015, adoptive parents must receive, upon written request, a reasonable period of unpaid leave not to exceed six weeks, or a greater leave period if stipulated under company policy.

If an employer provides paid leave or any other benefits to employees who are birth parents following the birth of a child, it must also provide the same type, amount, and duration of paid leave and other benefits to employees following the adoption of a child.

This provision applies to adoptive children under the age of 10, but the following are exempt from coverage under the law:

  • fictive kin
  • stepparent
  • stepsibling
  • blood relative, including half-blooded relatives
  • first cousin
  • aunt
  • uncle
  • nephew
  • niece
  • a person of a preceding generation as denoted by prefixes of grand, great, or great-great
  • a foster parent who adopts a foster child who is already in their care

Note that Kentucky law does not require that employers provide paid or unpaid leave; however, employers may be subject to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

More information about Kentucky protections for employees is available here.


Contact Information
For additional information concerning this Alert, please contact:
Workforce Tax Services - Employment Tax Advisory Services
   • Kristie Lowery (
   • Kenneth Hausser (
   • Debera Salam (


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