It’s important to stay up to date on all of the employment laws in your state so that you can maintain compliance in your business. We did some of the hard work for you and put some of the most important Kansas statutes in one place so you can either learn them for the first time or give yourself a refresher. 

However, remember that our summary is not qualified legal advice, laws are always subject to change, and they can vary from municipality to municipality. 

It’s up to you to make sure you’re compliant with all laws and statutes in your area. Consult with a qualified lawyer and/or your local government agencies if you have questions or concerns. 

Here are a few Kansas labor laws every small business owner should know.

Resources

First, here are a few helpful links and resources for you to bookmark and refer back to:

Leave

  • Sick Days: Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid sick leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one.
  • Medical Leave: Employers may be required to provide an employee unpaid leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
  • Vacation Leave: Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid vacation leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one.
    • Employers may establish a contract denying payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation of employment.
    • The contract may also disqualify employees from payment for vacation leave upon separation from employment if they do not follow certain requirements such as giving two weeks notice. 
    • The amount of vacation leave accrued over time may be capped in the policy. 
    • Employers may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their accrued leave by a certain date. 
  • Jury Duty: Employers are not required to pay an employee for time taken to respond to a jury summons, but they are not allowed to punish the employee in any way.
  • Holiday Leave: Private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid time off for holidays. 
  • Voting Leave: Registered voters are allowed to leave work for up to 2 hours to vote if they do not have time before or after their shift to do so. 
  • Bereavement Leave: Employers are not required to provide bereavement leave.
  • Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Leave: Employers must provide leave from work to an employee who is a victim of domestic abuse or sexual assault. The employee may use the time for any of the following reasons:
    • To obtain legal relief (restraining orders, injunctive relief) to protect themselves or their children
    • To obtain medical treatment
    • To obtain other services from a domestic abuse program or rape recovery center
    • To make court appearances in the aftermath of domestic abuse
  • Military Leave: Employers must allow their employees to take leave to serve in the armed forces of the state. They may not discharge or discriminate against an employee for taking military leave.
    • After their service, the employee is entitled to return to their job with the same benefits and pay they would have accrued if they had not taken the leave. For one year, the employer may not discharge the employee without cause.

Final Paycheck

Employers must pay employees who separate from employment all final wages by the next regularly scheduled payday, no matter the reason for separation. 

Minimum Wage

The current minimum wage in Kansas is $7.25. 

Tipped Wages

The current minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13. 

Pay Practices

  • Employers must pay their employees at least monthly on regular paydays the employer chooses in advance.
  • The payday must be within 15 days of the end of the pay period, unless a specific state or federal law allows for an exception.
  • Upon request, employers must provide the following information:
    • Their rate of pay
    • Paydays
    • The place wages are paid
    • Any changes to the rate, day, or place of pay
  • Upon request, employers must provide a statement of each deduction made from an employee’s wages.

Child Labor

  • Minors under the age of 16 are subject to the following time restrictions:
    • When public school is in session:
      • No working during school hours (except on a farm for a parent or guardian)
      • May work up to 3 hours on school days
      • May work up to 8 hours on non-school days
      • A maximum of 18 hours per week
      • Not earlier than 7am or later than 7pm
    • When public school is not in session
      • May work up to eight hours per day
      • A maximum of 40 hours per week
      • Not earlier than 7am or later than 7pm between June 1 and Labor Day
  • Minors 16 and 17 years old may not work during school hours when public school is in session.

Hiring

  • Background Checks: Employers who run background checks should ensure they’re following the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which are available here.
  • Credit and Investigative Checks: Employers may obtain credit checks on applicants and employees only if they tell them in writing that they are obtaining a credit check within three days of requesting a credit report. They must also tell them that they can request information regarding the nature and scope of the credit check requested.
  • Arrest and Convictions Checks: Employers may require that an applicant or employee sign a release allowing the employer to access their criminal history record.
    • Employers can use the information to make employment decisions only if it bears on the applicant’s or employee’s trustworthiness or the safety or wellbeing of the employer’s employees or customers.
  • Mandatory Background Checks: Kansas requires that employers conduct background checks on the following types of employees:
    • Personnel working for an adult care home
    • Home health agency personnel
    • Childcare facility personnel, including volunteers and people living in the facility
    • Personnel working for a detention center or secure care center for children and youth
    • School-age program personnel

Meal and Rest Breaks, Overtime

  • Employers covered under the FLSA are required to pay employees an overtime rate of one and a half times their regular rate for all hours worked in a workweek in excess of 40, unless the employee is otherwise exempt.
  • Kansas labor laws require employers to pay overtime to employees not covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) at a rate of 1½ time their regular rate when they work more than 46 hours in a workweek, unless otherwise exempt.
  • The federal overtime rule stipulates that the minimum salary requirement for administrative, professional, and executive exemptions is $684 per week, or $35,568 per year.

Required Posters

The State of Kansas requires that employers post the following notices in a prominent location:

  • Child Labor (employers who employ minors)
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Equal Opportunity in Employment
  • Kansas Indoor Clean Air Act (no-smoking signs)

Employment Discrimination

  • Federal law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of:
    • Race
    • Color
    • Age
    • Sex
    • Sexual orientation
    • Gender
    • Gender identity
    • Religion
    • National origin
    • Pregnancy
    • Genetic information, including family medical history
    • Physical or mental disability
    • Child or spousal support withholding
    • Military or veteran status
    • Citizenship and/or immigration status
  • Additionally, Kansas prohibits discrimination based on the following:
    • AIDS/HIV
    • Wage garnishment for consumer debt
  • Click here to read our blog on what acceptable and unacceptable questions to ask during an interview.       

Termination

Kansas is an employment-at-will state, which means that without a written employee contract, employees can be terminated for any reason at any time, provided that the reason is not discriminatory and that the employer is not retaliating against the employee for a rightful action. 

Whistleblower Protection

  • Employers may not discharge or discriminate against an employee for opposing or filing a complaint about discrimination.
  • In addition, employers may not discharge or discriminate against an employee or applicant for reporting or participating in the prosecution of a violation of the Kansas Indoor Clean Air Act.

COBRA

  • COBRA is a federal law that allows many employees to continue their health insurance benefits after their employment ends. Because federal COBRA only applies to employers that have 20 or more employees, many states have adopted their own versions of the law, which are known as “mini-COBRAs.”
  • Kansas’s mini-COBRA allows employees to continue their coverage for up to 18 months. Employers must provide an employee with reasonable notice of their COBRA rights.

Shift Scheduling

There are currently no laws regarding shift scheduling in Kansas.

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