Kansas Labor Laws

May 18th 2024

This article covers:

What are Kansas Time Management Laws?

In the US, there are federal laws in place to manage the time spent by employees in the workplace, safeguarding their rights and guaranteeing fair pay for their efforts. These laws act as directives for employers, keeping them in check, and minimizing any forms of abuse or exploitation.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which dates back to 1938, is a critical federal law for time management, setting hourly wage rates and overtime pay, and requiring employers to keep an accurate record of their employees’ working hours. Overtime is pegged at 1.5 times the regular hourly rate for workers who exceed 40 hours a week. However, certain job categories, including executives, professionals, and administrative employees, are exempt from overtime pay depending on their job description and salary.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is another essential federal law that governs time management in the workplace, entitling eligible employees to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons, such as the birth or adoption of a child or caring for a family member with a serious health condition. This act also requires employers to maintain employees’ health benefits during their leave and restore them to their previous or equivalent positions upon their return to work.

Employers who contravene federal time management laws face severe legal ramifications, including fines, back pay, and damages. If workers feel that their employer has violated federal time management laws, they can file complaints with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division for investigation and legal action.

Overall, federal time management laws are instrumental in ensuring that workers are compensated fairly for their time and effort in the workplace, protecting them from abuse and exploitation by employers. The Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act are vital federal laws that govern time management and worker compensation, ensuring fair labor practices across various sectors, including non-profit, public, and private organizations.

Kansas Minimum Wage $7.25
Kansas Overtime 1.5 times the regular wage for any time worked over 46 or 40 hours/week
($10.88 for minimum wage workers)
Kansas Breaks Breaks not required by law

What are the Hiring, Working & Termination Laws in Kansas?

In Kansas, when hiring, it is deemed illegal to engage in certain employment practices that discriminate against individuals. Employers, employment agencies, and labor organizations are prohibited from discriminating against individuals based on their:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Color
  • Sex
  • National origin
  • Ancestry
  • Disability
  • Age (except if 40 or older)
  • Height
  • Family affiliation
  • Disabled situation

The Kansas right-to-work amendment encompasses two main areas: schools and state departments. In schools, boards of education and administrative employees are prohibited from discriminating based on membership in professional employees’ organizations and from coercing employees to join such organizations. Professional employees, on the other hand, have the freedom to form or join these organizations to improve the terms and conditions of their service, or they can choose not to participate. In state departments, public employees (excluding school district professionals) have the right to participate, join, or form organizations to communicate with public employers, with the option to refrain from these activities. Employers are not allowed to force employees into joining or discourage membership in employee organizations, and discrimination based on organizational affiliation during hiring is prohibited.

Kansas is one more state in the US where the at-will employment policy is legally recognized. Under this arrangement, an employer can terminate an employee at any point for any reason except in the case of discrimination, retaliation, or the like. Nonetheless, this policy applies both ways. An employee can also choose to leave their job at any point, with no negative consequences.

In the event of job loss, whether it be through resignation or otherwise, the employer is required by law to pay all due wages to the employee on the next typical payday.

Failure to provide the departing employee with their final paycheck will result in the employer having to pay an additional amount equal to 1% of the unpaid wages for each day (excluding Sundays and legal holidays) until the final payment is made, or the unpaid wages are satisfied, whichever comes first.

What Are the Key Labor Laws in Kansas?

Now, we will discuss some key labor laws in Kansas that may not be related to the categories we have previously explored. Some of these regulations include:

  • COBRA Laws – If you lose your job in Kansas, you might be able to rely on the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or COBRA, for medical coverage. COBRA provides health insurance to employees and dependents for up to 18 to 36 months following a voluntary or involuntary job loss. However, it’s important to note that COBRA only applies to businesses with 20 or more employees.
  • OSHA Laws – In Kansas, private employers and workers are governed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at a federal level. The aim of OSHA is to ensure that workplaces are safe and free from hazards, and to achieve this, they have set safety and health standards for employers to abide by. Employers have a responsibility to provide these standards to their employees in order to prevent any work-related injuries or loss of life.
  • Whistleblower Laws – According to the Kansas whistleblower act, state employees are allowed to report any violations of state or federal regulations to legislative persons or entities, and no supervisor or representative of a state agency can prevent them from doing so. The employee who reports such a violation is not required to inform their supervisor or appointing authority beforehand. If the employee experiences disciplinary action, they can appeal to the state civil service board within 90 days after the disciplinary action. If the board finds that the whistleblower act was violated, the violator could face suspension without pay for a maximum of 30 days, or up to 2 years if they repeatedly violate the act.
  • Recordkeeping Laws – Starting January 1, 1978, employers are required to maintain employee records within their premises. These records need to be kept for up to 3 years for each employee employed in the establishment. The employee records should include:
    • Name, address, birth day (if younger than 19), and sex
    • Occupation
    • Hours worked each day and week
    • Exact time and day of the week when employee’s workweek begins
    • Basis on which the employee’s wages are paid (e.g., $12 per hour or $400 per week)
    • Hourly pay rate
    • Total overtime earnings
    • Additions or deductions from the employee’s wages
    • Total wages paid each pay period
    • Date of payment and the pay period

Kansas Payment Laws

To start off, let’s take a look at the laws that govern how much employees must be paid. We’ll delve into the details of minimum wage standards, including any exceptions that may apply.

What is the Minimum Payment in Kansas?

As of January 1st, 2010, all employers in Kansas are obligated to pay their employees at least $7.25 per hour.

What are the Exceptions for Minimum Payment in Kansas?

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), there are certain employees who may be exempted from receiving the minimum wage. The FLSA provides a list of these employees along with specific requirements that need to be met:

  • Executive workers who are paid on a salary basis and earn not less than $684 per week
  • Administrative workers who are paid on a salary basis and earn not less than $684 per week
  • Learned and creative professionals paid on a salary basis who earn not less than $684 per week
  • Computer employees who earn $684 per week or at least $27.63 per hour
  • Highly compensated employees who earn $107,432 or more a year
  • Outside sales employees — No minimum salary requirement
  • Tipped employees
  • Minors

In Kansas, tipped employees are guaranteed to earn the federal minimum wage of $2.13 per hour, as long as their monthly tips equal at least $20. However, if their hourly wage plus tips doesn’t add up to $7.25 an hour, the employer must fill the gap.

Additionally, employers can pay individuals under 20 years old a “training wage” of $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days of employment, and full-time students in certain industries are eligible for 85% of the minimum wage at $6.16 per hour. These employers must apply for a certificate from the US Department of Labor, and these full-time students can work up to 8 hours per day (20 hours per week) when school is in session and up to 40 hours per week when school is not in session. Once a full-time student graduates or leaves school permanently, they are entitled to the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

What is the Payment Due Date in Kansas?

In Kansas, employers are required to make sure their employees receive all the wages they are owed at least once a month, or according to any other arrangements made between the employer and the employee. A few popular pay frequency schedules in the US are weekly paychecks (52 per year), biweekly paychecks (26 per year), and semi-monthly paychecks (24 per year).

What are Kansas Overtime Laws?

According to federal law, certain nonexempt workers are owed overtime compensation that is 1.5 times their regular pay rate. However, the specifics regarding overtime work differ by state. In Kansas, employees must work at least 46 hours a week to qualify for this compensation, as opposed to the federal standard of 40 hours outside of weekends and holidays. For a deeper understanding of your overtime rights, read our detailed article on overtime rights in Kansas.

What are Overtime Exceptions and Exemptions in Kansas?

According to federal law, employees who aren’t exempt must be paid an overtime sum of at least 1.5 times their regular rate of pay. However, Kansas law differs from federal law – employees in Kansas have to work over 46 hours a week to qualify for the 1.5 times overtime pay, unlike federal law which sets the limit at 40 hours per week (as stated above). Here are the exceptions to the 46-hour rule:

  • Any employee who is engaged in selling motor vehicles for a non manufacturing employer
  • Any person sentenced to the custody of the secretary of corrections
  • Any person serving a sentence in a county jail
  • Executive, administrative, highly compensated employees who make more than $107,432 a year and creative professionals who receive a salary and earn not less than $684 per week.
  • Computer employees who work on a salary basis and earn more than $684 weekly.
  • Outside sales employees.

Did you know that certain nonexempt salaried employees are eligible for overtime pay thanks to the Fluctuating Workweek Method (FWW)? If an employee’s working week varies from week to week, they may be eligible for FWW overtime pay. For example, a salaried, nonexempt employee will receive the same monthly salary whether they work 40 hours per week or less, or even more than 40. However, for each hour worked over 40 a week, an employee will receive an overtime premium of 0.5 times their hourly rate. To qualify for the FWW method, employees must have a fluctuating workweek, receive a fixed salary, and earn at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour. Using the FWW method also entitles employees to additional pay or benefits such as bonuses, commissions, and hazard pay.

Learn more in detail about Kansas Salaried Employees Laws and Kansas Overtime Laws.

What are Kansas Time Off/Break Laws?

In Kansas, there are no actual laws that require employers to provide breaks.

What are the Exceptions to Break Law in Kansas?

Many bosses allot breaks to keep their workers more productive. These breaks are paid for when they last from 5 to 20 minutes, but meal periods that last a minimum of 30 minutes aren’t considered work hours, so employees don’t receive compensation for them. That being said, when staff members have to continue working during their meal breaks, like a factory employee who must remain at their station during mealtime, they must be paid accordingly.

What are Kansas Breastfeeding Laws?

In Kansas, it’s allowed for mothers to breastfeed anywhere she has the right to be. However, there’s currently no specific rules or guidelines in the state when it comes to breastfeeding at work. Thankfully, federal law mandates that companies must provide a suitable place (not a restroom) and a reasonable amount of time for new mothers to nurse their children for up to a year after childbirth.

What are Kansas Leave Laws?

Kansas provides two types of leaves – required and non-required leaves.

What is Kansas Required Leave?

The following are the required leave types that Kansas employers must provide to their employees:

  • Family And Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – The Family and Medical Leave Act is a law created by the federal government that allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period. This kind of leave is typically used for things like the birth of a child, adoption or foster care, or in situations where the employee or someone in their immediate family has a serious health condition. In order to qualify for FMLA, the employee must have been working for the employer for at least a year and have worked 1,250 hours.
  • Military Leave (Public Employers) – All employees, both regular and temporary, working for the state are entitled to 30 days of paid military leave during the 12-month period from October 1st to September 30th. This leave can be used for a variety of military purposes such as active or inactive duty, full-time national guard duty, weekend drills, or any other kind of military duty.
  • Domestic Violence Or Sexual Assault Leave – If someone has experienced domestic violence or sexual assault, they are permitted to take up to 8 days off per calendar year using their accrued leave or, if they have no accrued leave available, they may take the time off unpaid.
  • Donor Leave – State employees in Kansas who are interested in donating organs, blood, or bone marrow can now benefit from the Kansas Donor Leave Program. The program offers various types of paid leave for eligible employees based on the type of donation made. For example, employees undergoing organ/tissue donation can receive up to 30 days of paid leave, while those donating blood products or bone marrow can receive 3 hours and 7 days of paid leave respectively. It’s important to note that this leave cannot be used to take care of family members who may be donors. However, the leave will be paid at the employee’s regular rate.
  • Jury Duty Leave – As a US citizen, if you receive a summons from a court to serve as a juror, it is your obligation to fulfill this duty. If you are a regular employee in Kansas, you are entitled to paid leave when called for jury duty or as a witness before the civil service board. However, if you are called as a witness on your own behalf, paid leave does not apply.
  • Bereavement Leave – When an employee in Kansas experiences the loss of an immediate family member or close relative, they are eligible for a specific type of leave. This leave offers paid time off for up to 6 working days to help the employee during this difficult time.
  • Disaster Service Leave – If you’re a state employee who is a certified disaster service volunteer with the American Red Cross, you’re entitled to up to 20 working days of paid leave in a 12-month period. During this time, you’ll receive your regular rate of pay.
  • Holiday Leave (Public Employers) – It is required for state offices in Kansas to grant their employees time off on legally recognized public holidays. This can be for one or multiple days as deemed necessary.

What is Kansas Non-Required Leave?

The non-required leave types are:

  • Vacation Time – Although employers in Kansas are not mandated by federal or state law to offer vacation leave, it’s common for them to do so in order to enhance the work-life balance of their employees.
  • Sick Leave – Employers aren’t legally required to give sick leave benefits, whether it’s paid or unpaid.
  • Holiday Leave (Private Employers) – As an employee of a private company, you may not receive holiday leave benefits or premium pay for working during holidays. This is because employers are not obligated to provide these benefits, and they must be negotiated between the employer and employee.

The following are the official federal holidays observed in the US:

State Official Holidays Date
New Year’s Day 1 January
Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Day Third Monday in January
Washington’s Birthday Third Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day 4 July
Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Election Day Every other year
Veterans Day 11 November
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day 25 December

What are Kansas Child Labor Laws?

In Kansas, regulations on child labor are in place to ensure the safety of minors from physical, moral, and emotional harm. For any employer seeking to hire a minor under the age of 16, a work permit must be obtained prior to employment. However, if the minor is enrolled in a secondary school in the state, the work permit is not needed. These regulations prioritize the well-being and education of minors in the workforce.

What are the Laws on Working Hours for Minors in Kansas?

Federal law allows 16 and 17 year olds to work unlimited hours except in hazardous occupations. Minors under 16 have specific time restrictions including limits on school days, non-school days, and weekly hours worked. Kansas law allows children under 16 to work in certain establishments between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., with additional time allowed if the next day is not a school day. Hours worked are limited to 8 per day and 40 per week, with exemptions for vocational programs and food service preparation.

Minors who are under the age of 14 are not allowed to participate in any type of trade or occupation, unless they fall under certain exceptions. These include situations in which they are working in a non-hazardous position for their parents, performing domestic service or casual labor in or around a private household, delivering newspapers or serving as a messenger, working in agricultural, horticultural, livestock or dairying establishments, or working as actors, actresses or performers in movies, theaters, radio or TV. However, it is important to note that these exceptions do not apply when the child should be in school.

What are the Banned Jobs for Minors in Kansas?

Certain jobs are not allowed for minors in Kansas. The Secretary of Labor’s policy states that any occupation, trade, or business that may pose physical, moral, or emotional risks cannot be done by individuals below 18 years old. Jobs that are banned for minors are:

  • Manufacturing or storing explosives
  • Operating motor vehicles on public roads
  • Coal mining
  • Power-driven woodworking machines
  • Wrecking, demolition, and ship-breaking operations

What Sanctions are There for Employing Minors in Kansas?

If anyone breaks the rules regarding workplace for minors, whether they’re an individual, company, or organization, they’ll be committing a misdemeanor. As punishment, they may face up to 19 days of incarceration in the county jail. For less serious offenses, a fine ranging between $25 to $100 must be paid.

Important Cautionary Note

This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.