Kansas Labor Laws

Kansas Labor Laws (2024 Guide For Employers)

It’s essential for employers and employees working in the state of Kansas to have a solid understanding of Kansas labor laws.

  • Are you struggling to understand Kansas labor laws amidst federal law and regulations?
  • Unsure about how labor laws apply on non-school days or during vacation time?
  • Trying to understand Kansas minimum wage exceptions under state law?
  • Confused about wage rates and payment schedules?

Understanding employment law, especially in Kansas, requires clarity and expertise. This article will help you to make sense of state labor laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act, workers’ compensation, health insurance, and more.

This article is for:

  • Private employers seeking clarity on compliance requirements.
  • Employees looking for answers to FAQs on Kansas labor laws.
  • Parents curious about labor laws concerning their children’s employment on non-school days and the number of hours they can work.

Disclaimer: Despite our best efforts to provide you with accurate information on this topic at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content at the time of reading. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult an attorney for specific guidance on Kansas labor laws.

Kansas Wage Laws

Minimum Wage

Kansas adheres to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Cities and counties within Kansas may impose higher local minimum wages. Employers must pay whichever rate is highest—federal, state, or local.

Note that tipped employees may have a lower minimum wage, but their tips must supplement their pay to reach at least the standard minimum wage.

Overtime Pay

Kansas follows the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guidelines for overtime pay. Under the FLSA, non-exempt employees are entitled to a payment of one and a half times their regular rate for each hour exceeding 40 in a workweek.

While FLSA is the primary standard, Kansas requires overtime pay at the same rate if an employee not covered by the FLSA exceeds 46 hours of work in a week.

Exemptions to overtime regulations typically apply to salaried employees, and employees in executive, administrative, or professional roles.

Kansas Payment Laws

Regular Payday

Employers in Kansas must designate regular paydays and consistently adhere to the chosen period—weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly. Regardless of the designated frequency, Kansas labor law expects the employer to stick to the agreed-upon timeline.

Final Paycheck

Kansas takes payment of employees’ wages at termination or resignation seriously. The law insists that the final paycheck with all unpaid wages be delivered either on the next regular payday or within seven days of the employee’s last day, whichever comes first. Failure to follow this rule can result in penalties for the employer.

Kansas Overtime Laws

Understanding Exemptions

While federal FLSA rules form the bedrock of overtime policy, it’s essential to identify situations where exemptions apply. Specific classifications may be exempt from federal and state overtime requirements. Understanding exemptions is vital for proper pay practice.

Kansas Break Laws

Meal Breaks

Unlike some states, Kansas does not have statutory regulations mandating employers to provide meal breaks.

Nonetheless, best practices encourage the offering of reasonable breaks for sustenance and rest.

This benefits employee health and morale. Should an employer opt to provide short breaks (typically 5-20 minutes), these are usually considered paid work time.

Rest Breaks for Minors

Kansas protects minors through stricter regulations. Those under 18 years old cannot work more than five consecutive hours without an unpaid meal break of at least 30 minutes.

Kansas Leave Requirements

Kansas employers should take note of their responsibilities under various leave regulations:

Sick Leave

Kansas does not mandate employers to provide paid sick leave. However, a growing number of employers are creating sick leave policies as a valuable employee benefit. Employers with such policies must uphold them consistently.

Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)

Covered employers must adhere to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). It entitles eligible employees to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually for serious health conditions, the birth or adoption of a child, or caring for a seriously ill family member. FMLA has eligibility requirements related to the size of the business, how long the employee has worked there, and their work hours.

Jury Duty Leave

Kansas statutes prohibit employers from penalizing or terminating an employee for attending jury service. The law seeks to protect citizens fulfilling this civic duty.

Military Leave

The federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) offers job protection for individuals taking leave for military service. Additional Kansas laws apply in limited situations. Consulting the Kansas Department of Labor or a legal professional for clarification is often wise.

Leave for Victims of Crime

In specific scenarios, Kansas grants victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking legal protections to take time off work. These might include seeking help, going to court, or recovering from injuries.

Child Labor Laws in Kansas

The Importance of Protecting Young Workers

Child labor laws exist to prevent exploitation and safeguard the well-being and education of young people. They strike a balance, making allowances for appropriate types of work without hindering a child’s development.

Minimum Age

Generally, the minimum age to work in Kansas is 14. Exceptions exist, mainly for work on family farms, newspaper delivery, or employment by parents in non-hazardous roles.

Work Hours

Specific laws dictate the hours permissible for children to work. Hours often differ depending on the minor’s age and whether school is in session. Generally, those under 16 years old should not work before 7 a.m. or past 7 p.m. Kansas employers need to be attentive to these stipulations.

Hazardous Occupations

Several occupations are banned outright for minors due to their high-risk nature. This includes anything considered detrimental to physical health or wellbeing.

For example, jobs involving roofing, mining, and handling explosives are off-limits to those under 18. Employers should familiarize themselves with the full list.

Kansas Hiring Laws

Creating a Fair and Inclusive Hiring Process

Kansas strives to uphold fairness during the hiring process. Employers should implement anti-discrimination practices and consider applicants based on their qualifications and experience.


Discrimination in hiring based on factors like race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin, ancestry, and age is prohibited by both federal and Kansas law. Equal employment opportunity is a legal commitment.

Background Checks

Kansas allows employers to run background checks in some instances. However, regulations surrounding Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and potential discrimination based on criminal history exist. Understanding this area of the law is vital before requesting background checks.

Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9 Forms)

Federal immigration law requires all hired employees to present documentation verifying their legal authorization to work in the United States. Employers must use and retain Form I-9 correctly for every employee.

Kansas Termination Laws

At-Will Employment

Kansas is known as an “at-will employment” state. Generally, this means employees can be terminated for any reason without prior notice, as long as that reason is not discriminatory or retaliatory. Similarly, an employee can resign at any time, without formal notice, for any reason.

Exceptions to At-Will

There are some exceptions to at-will rules. Employers who have created written contracts may need to follow the termination procedures laid out in that contract. Discrimination or retaliation against an employee remains illegal, even in a state with at-will employment.

Wrongful Termination

Though termination without cause exists, employers need to avoid engaging in wrongful termination. Examples of wrongful termination could include firing an employee due to discrimination, whistleblowing, or exercising a legal right.

Occupational Safety in Kansas

The Role of OSHA and the Kansas Department of Labor

Both federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules and Kansas-specific regulations aim to maintain safe workplaces. These are vital in minimizing health risks and accident prevention.

Employer Responsibilities

Kansas employers have an obligation to furnish a safe work environment, provide necessary safety gear, and offer training. This includes understanding relevant regulations, reporting serious injuries or fatalities, and maintaining accurate recordkeeping.

Employee Rights

Workers in Kansas have the right to know about workplace hazards, file complaints with OSHA or the Kansas Department of Labor, and refuse work tasks if they pose an imminent danger.

Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice

This blog post provides a general overview of Kansas labor laws but does not constitute legal advice. Laws and regulations are subject to change, and there may be additional requirements or exemptions that apply to specific situations. Employers and employees should consult a qualified labor law attorney for advice on their specific circumstances.

If you have any questions about your rights or obligations as an employer or employee in Kansas, it is essential to consult with a labor law attorney to receive accurate information and guidance tailored to your situation. By seeking professional legal advice, you can ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to comply with labor laws and protect your rights.

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