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44-313. Definitions. As used in this act: (a) "Employer" means any individual, partnership, association, joint stock company, trust, corporation, limited liability company or other organization, the administrator or executor of the estate of a deceased individual, or the receiver, trustee, or successor of any of the same, the state of Kansas or any department, agency or authority of the state, any city, county, school district or other political subdivision, municipality or public corporation and any instrumentality thereof, employing any person.

(b) "Employee" means any person allowed or permitted to work by an employer.

(c) "Wages" means compensation for labor or services rendered by an employee, whether the amount is determined on a time, task, piece, commission or other basis less authorized withholding and deductions.

(d) "Secretary" means the secretary of labor.

History: L. 1973, ch. 204, § 1; L. 1976, ch. 370, § 4; L. 1986, ch. 187, § 1; L. 2003, ch. 76, § 1; L. 2004, ch. 179, § 4; July 1.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"What Should Lawyers Know from the 2003 Kansas Legislative Session?" Whitney B. Damron, 72 J.K.B.A. No. 7, 16 (2003).

"See Dick and Jane Work: A Kansas Wage Payment Act Primer," Boyd A. Byers and Carolyn L. Rumfelt, 72 J.K.B.A. No. 9, 14 (2003).

Kansas Employment Law Survey, Elinor P. Schroeder, Pamela V. Keller, 55 K.L.R. 887 (2007).

Attorney General's Opinions:

Payment of compensation—definitions; wages, unused sick leave. 89-14.

Personnel policy giving county employees option to reimburse cash shortages in lieu of disciplinary action is illegal. 94-127.

Mentioned in discussion of county paid time-off leave and cash-basis law. 2007-25.


1. Action begun under former statute (K.S.A. 44-301 et seq.); claim fell within contemplation of section; "its work" construed. McGowen v. Southwestern Bell Tel. Co., 215 Kan. 887, 529 P.2d 97.

2. Subsection (c) cited; "wages" defined in action for willful non-payment of commissions under K.S.A. 44-315(b). Holder v. Kansas Steel Built, Inc., 224 Kan. 406, 412, 582 P.2d 244.

3. Vacation pay due pursuant to employment contract constitutes "wages." Benjamin v. Manpower, Inc., of Wichita, 3 Kan. App. 2d 657, 659, 600 P.2d 148.

4. Sole officer of corporation who knowingly permits violation of wage payment laws is personally liable for unpaid wages and damages. State ex rel. McCain v. Erdman, 4 Kan. App. 2d 375, 607 P.2d 78.

5. Phrase "earned time" in employment contract does not constitute "wages" as defined in K.S.A. 44-313(c). Richardson v. St. Mary Hospital, 6 Kan. App. 2d 238, 239, 240, 241, 243, 627 P.2d 1143.

6. "Paid days off" under formula in this case properly considered "wages." Lindstrom v. St. Francis Hosp. & Med. Center, Inc., 6 Kan. App. 2d 948, 950, 951, 953, 954, 636 P.2d 231 (1981).

7. Earned wages do not include vacation pay if contractual condition precedent of timely termination notice not performed. Sweet v. Stormont Vail Regional Medical Center, 231 Kan. 604, 605, 606, 607, 647 P.2d 1274 (1982).

8. Absent express statutory authority, administrative agency cannot award compensatory or punitive damages. Woods v. Midwest Conveyor Co., 231 Kan. 763, 775, 648 P.2d 234 (1982).

9. Where parent labor union sends receiver to operate local union, there is no termination of employee and no wages due. Micheaux v. Amalgamated Meatcutters & Butcher Workmen, 231 Kan. 791, 794, 795, 797, 648 P.2d 722 (1982).

10. Issues of unfair labor practices and questions as to proper wages to be paid are distinct issues; latter is state issue. Whelan's, Inc. v. Kansas Dept. of Human Resources, 235 Kan. 425, 433, 681 P.2d 621 (1984).

11. Sums withheld from amounts due as bonuses actually wages under particular circumstances. Yuille v. Pester Marketing Co., 9 Kan. App. 2d 464, 467, 682 P.2d 676 (1984).

12. Absent agreement, nothing in Kansas law requires employer to convert vacation time to lump-sum payment. Mid America Aerospace, Inc. v. Department of Human Resources, 10 Kan. App. 2d 144, 146, 147, 694 P.2d 1321 (1985).

13. Claimants not entitled to profit-sharing benefits unless employed on distribution date of employment contract. Morton Bldgs., Inc. v. Department of Human Resources, 10 Kan. App. 2d 197, 198, 202, 695 P.2d 450 (1985).

14. Cited in showing protection of wage earners as principal objective of many laws. Burris v. Northern Assurance Co. of America, 236 Kan. 326, 333, 691 P.2d 10 (1984).

15. Combination of factors herein permissible in arriving at actual wages so long as no statute or agreement violated. Dangerfield v. Montgomery Ward Co., 236 Kan. 594, 599, 694 P.2d 439 (1985).

16. Hearing officer of DHR has jurisdiction on violations of KWPA; statutes enforceable where no conflict with federal law. Elkins v. Showcase, Inc., 237 Kan. 720, 728, 704 P.2d 977 (1985).

17. Benefits under stock option and savings fund plans subject to conditions precedent are not wages. Weir v. Anaconda Co., 773 F.2d 1073, 1083, 1084 (1985).

18. Cited; prohibitions against deductions from employee's wages except as permitted by statute examined. Excel Corp. v. Kansas Dept. of Human Resources, 12 Kan. App. 2d 417, 747 P.2d 179 (1987).

19. Claim for back wages may be initiated with either secretary of human resources or district court. Spor v. Presta Oil Co., 14 Kan. App. 2d 696, 697, 798 P.2d 68 (1990).

20. Commission rights of employee selling telecommunication services vested at time of sale even if employee terminated before payable. Smith v. MCI Telecommunications Corp., 755 F. Supp. 354, 359 (1990).

21. Whether grain salesperson was employee or independent contractor under right to control test for KWPA (K.S.A. 44-301 et seq.) purposes examined. Herr v. McCormick Grain-The Heiman Company, Inc., 841 F. Supp. 1500, 1513 (1993).

22. Whether employee's severance pay claim was preempted by ERISA (29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq.) examined. Kincaid v. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 863 F. Supp. 1471, 1477 (1994).

23. Issue concerning whether merchandiser was employee for wage, retirement and labor standard purposes precluded summary judgment. Herr v. Heiman, 75 F.3d 1509, 1512 (1996).

24. Former police officer's claims for pension amount were less than jurisdictional amount required under diversity statute. Fitzgerald v. City of Ottawa, Kan., 975 F. Supp. 1402, 1406 (1997).

25. Material fact issue concerning whether employer owed employees wages for soliciting business for employer precluded summary judgment. Kephart v. Data Systems Intern, Inc., 243 F. Supp. 2d 1205, 1231 (2003).

26. Oral agreement to withhold, deduct or divert any portion of employee's wages is illegal; 100% penalty plus interest approved. Beckman v. Kansas Dept. of Human Resources, 30 Kan. App. 2d 606, 43 P.3d 891 (2002).

27. Fact issue concerning whether employer owed employees wages relating to work precluded summary judgment. Kephart v. Data Systems Intern., Inc., 243 F. Supp. 2d 1205, 1208 (2003).

28. Employer's policy requiring employee to provide notice of intent to quit placed condition precedent on receipt of wages. Robinson v. Food Service of Belton, Inc., 415 F. Supp. 2d 1227, 1229 (2005).

29. Illegal alien's employment contract is enforceable under Kansas Wage Payment Act, act not preempted by federal law. Coma Corporation v. Kansas Dept. of Labor, 283 Kan. 625, 635, 645, 154 P.3d 1080 (2007).

30. Cited in Kansas wage payment act claim involving FMLA. Wallace v. Microsoft Credit Corp., 563 F. Supp. 2d 1197, 1203 (2008).

31. Cited; Kansas wage payment act not limited to employees who live and work in Kansas. Harlow v. Sprint Nextel Corp., 574 F. Supp. 2d 1224, 1225, 1226 (2008).

32. Cause of action for retaliatory discharge exists based on a wage claim under the KWPA. Campbell v. Husky Hogs, 292 Kan. 225, 255 P.3d 1 (2011).

33. Drivers are employees and not independent contractors pursuant to the employment relationship under the Kansas wage payment act. Craig v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., 300 Kan. 788, 827, 335 P.3d 66 (2014).

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