Spencer Fane LLP Logo

Kansas Enacts New Law Clarifying Payroll Deductions for Employees

On Monday, April 1, 2013, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed into law (found here) a bill which addresses the withholding of wages both during employment and after employment. The new law, which takes effect on July 1, 2013 provides clarity on the age old questions of what an employer may deduct during the employee’s tenure and when they leave.

The new law makes it clear that an employer may make payroll deductions during employment subject to a signed agreement of the following: Deductions for repayment of loans or advances; b) recovery of payroll overpayment; and c) compensation to an employer for the replacement cost or unpaid balance of the cost of “the employer’s merchandise or uniforms.”

The new law permits employers – subject to providing written notice and an explanation – to withhold, deduct or divert any portion of an employee’s final paycheck to recover the employer’s property including – computers, mobile phones, keys, access cards electronic devices, client lists and intellectual property. Upon return of the items, the employer is to relinquish the wages withheld.

The new law also permits employers subject to written notice and an explanation to withhold, deduct or divert a portion of a final paycheck to repay a loan or advance, to allow for payroll overpayment, or to compensate the employer the replacement costs for employer’s merchandise or uniforms.

The law makes it clear that none of these deductions may lower an employee’s wages below minimum wage.

The law also contains new restrictions on public sector unions in Kansas. The new law bars public sector labor unions from using money deducted from member’s paychecks for partisan or political activities. In addition, the law bars public sector unions from requiring political contributions as a condition of membership.

The law goes into effect on July 1, 2013