labor law guide
The Kansas employment laws every business owner should know
Wages and breaks
The current minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13, the same as the federal minimum wage.
Employers covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (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 times their regular rate when they work more than 46 hours in a workweek, unless otherwise exempt.
According to federal labor laws, employees with a salary below $679 per week ($35,308 annually) must be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week. Workers making at least this salary level may be eligible for overtime based on their job duties.
Kansas does not require employers to provide meal breaks.
Kansas does not require employers to provide rest breaks.
Final paychecks in Kansas
Employers must pay employees who separate from employment all final wages by the next regularly scheduled payday, no matter the reason for separation.
Kansas child labor laws
Minors under the age of 16 when public school is in session
Minors under the age of 16 are subject to the following wage and hour laws: No working during school hours (except for farm work for a parent or guardian). May work up to 3 hours on school days and up to 8 hours on non-school days, with a maximum of 18 hours per week. May not work earlier than 7am or later than 7pm.
Minors under the age of 16 when public school is not in session
May work up to eight hours per day, with a maximum of 40 hours per week. May not work earlier than 7am or later than 7pm between June 1 and Labor Day.
Minors 16 and 17 years old
Minors 16 and 17 years old may not work during school hours when public school is in session, according to the Kansas Department of Labor.
Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid sick leave but must comply with their own established policies in their employee handbook if they choose to implement one.
Employers may be required to provide an employee unpaid leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
Employers are not required to provide bereavement leave.
Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid vacation leave but must comply with their own established policies in an employment agreement 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.
Employers are not required to pay an employee for time taken to respond to a jury summons, but Kansas law prohibits employers from punishing the employee in any way.
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.
Employers must allow their employees to take unpaid 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.
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.
Hiring and firing
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.
Kansas law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, disability, ancestry, national origin and age. Genetic screening and testing in the area of employment are also prohibited.
Click here to read our blog on what acceptable and unacceptable questions to ask during an interview.
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.
Regarding employment and payroll data, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and others, you must:
For at least 3 years: keep payroll records, certificates, agreements, notices, collective bargaining agreements, employment contracts, and sales and purchase records. Also keep completed copies of an employee’s I-9 (Employee Eligibility Verification Form) for three years after he’s hired. If the employee works longer than three years, hold on to the form for at least one year after the employee leaves.
For at least 2 years: Keep basic employment and earning records like timecards, wage-rate tables, shipping and billing records, and records of additions to or deductions from wages. Also keep records that show why you may pay different wages to employees of different sexes, such as wage rates, job evaluations, seniority and merit systems, and collective bargaining agreements.
For at least 1 year: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says employers should keep all employment records for at least one year from the employee’s date of termination.
Other record-keeping laws that may apply to you:
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, you need to keep records of job-related injuries and illnesses for five years. But some records, like those covering toxic substance exposure, have to be kept for 30 years.
You must keep files of benefit plans and seniority and merit systems while they are in effect and for at least a year after they end. You must also retain summary descriptions and annual reports of benefits plans for six years.
If your company is covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, you must also retain relevant records of leaves, notices, policies, and more for three years.
Additional laws that may apply to you.
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.
Employers who run background checks should ensure they’re following the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
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.
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.
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 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.
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This 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. If you need more compliance help, we recommend consulting with a qualified lawyer, checking with your local government agencies, or signing up for Homebase to get help from our certified HR Pros.