Does your employer give you vacation time, sick leave, personal days, or paid time off (PTO)? In addition to any of these types of time off, which are discretionary in Kansas, you might also have the right to take leave from your job under federal and Kansas state law. For example, if you are recovering from a serious health condition or need to attend to practical matters arising from a family member’s military deployment, you might be legally entitled to take time off under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Although Kansas does not have its own family and medical leave law, it does require employers to give employees time off for military service, voting, and jury duty.
This article provides general information about your right to time off work in Kansas. For more information, see our page on employee leave rights.
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires larger employers to give eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year to bond with a new child, to care for a seriously ill family member (a spouse, parent, or child), to recuperate from their own serious health conditions, or to handle certain practical matters arising from a family member’s military service. The FMLA also requires employers to give employees up to 26 weeks off to care for a family member who suffers or exacerbates a serious illness or injury during military service. (For purposes of this military family leave provision only, employees may take leave to care for a broader set of family members, including grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and cousins, if they are next of kin to an injured service member.)
Employers with at least 50 employees must comply with the FMLA. Employees are eligible for leave only if they have worked for their employer for 12 months and have worked 1,250 hours in the 12 months before taking leave. (Learn more about the FMLA at our Taking Family and Medical Leave page.)
Some states have passed their own laws requiring employers to provide more or different types of family and medical leave. However, Kansas does not offer any additional family or medical leave rights beyond what the federal FMLA allows.
Another federal law, the Unformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), gives eligible employees the right to be reinstated to their jobs after taking up to five years off for service in the U.S. military. These employees may be fired only for good cause for a period of up to one year after they return from service. Employers may not discriminate against employees based on their military service. (Learn more about USERRA inTaking Military Leave.)
The laws of many states extend similar rights to employees who serve in the state’s military (such as the militia) or are called to state active duty. In Kansas, employees who are members of the state’s military forces and are called to active duty have the right to time off, reinstatement, and job protection for a year after returning. Employees are also entitled to take five to ten days off work each year to attend annual muster and camp of instruction for the Kansas National Guard.
Kansas law also gives employees the right to take time off work, without fear of retaliation, for the civic responsibility of serving on a jury. Employers must allow employees to take time off for jury service, and employees may not lose seniority or benefits due to jury duty.
This time off is unpaid. Under federal law, however, employers typically cannot deduct an exempt, salaried employee’s pay for time spent serving on a jury, unless the employee did no work for the entire week. For more information, see our article on pay docking.
Many states also require employers to give employees a small amount of time off, usually paid, to cast their ballots. In Kansas, employers must provide enough paid time off to vote to give the employee a total of two hours off while polls are open, when combined with the employee’s regular nonwork hours. Employers may decide when the employee takes this time, but cannot require an employee to use a regular meal break for this purpose.