Employees must meet specific eligibility criteria to be eligible to take leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. Both federal employees and private employees must meet these requirements:
- Nonexempt employees must have worked for their employer for a minimum of 12 months
- Eligible employees must have worked for 1,250+ hours the previous year
- Every regular employee must work at a location with 50+ staff members within 75 miles
Before starting a new job, reviewing the time allowance you have available for sick leave is essential. Always ensure your employer notes your vacation time in your employment contract. Additionally, ensure you have access to every company policy in writing.
Where Kansas sick leave laws get slightly more complicated is with state employees. State employees are covered by the law to acquire accrued sick leave from public employers. The law states nonexempt employees that work over seven hours daily must receive 0.4 hours of leave per eight hours.
If you are an exempt employee, you receive 3.7 hours of sick leave per pay period. Employees can use these accrued leave options for various ailments and disabilities, including recovery from pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriages, and abortions. State employees can also use this time off to adopt a child, place a foster child, or quarantine.
Kansas sick leave laws are similar to other states that don’t have state-level requirements for private employers. In Iowa, no state-level guidelines exist stating private employers must give their employees time off for sick leave. However, there are federal mandates regarding sick leave policies that every employer must follow.
In most instances, employees will find they can access sick time off through their employers. That said, employers can choose to give employees either paid or unpaid time off for medical conditions. They can also decide whether to offer these benefits only to salaried employees instead of part-time, hourly employees.
Additionally, employers must abide by the policies and guidelines in their sick-leave packages or could face severe fines.
Family Medical Leave Act
Kansas employers must abide by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guidelines like the other states in the country. As an established policy, employees can take time off to deal with a health condition. In addition, it sets other workplace laws for managing the health of family members.
Individuals taking sick leave under FMLA must do so for the following instances:
- Recovering from a severe medical condition
- Caring for a sick or injured family member
- Caring for a sick or injured military service family member
- Bonding with a new child
Although the Family Medical Leave Act can be helpful for individuals seeking sick leave, most public employees and private employees will have private leave options. If your employer offers leave options, they must be outlined to every employee in writing.
Parental leave isn’t a mandate for employers in Kansas based on state laws. However, the federal FMLA overrides a lack of individual policies for employees requiring parental leave. Along with being helpful for medical ailments and disabilities, the Family Medical Leave Act offers time off for new parents.
As earlier mentioned, one of the sick leave benefits of FMLA is time off to care for a new child. This applies to the birth of, adoption, or fostering of a new child. You will have access to the same healthcare benefits when using the FMLA for parental leave as medical leave.
Employees are granted 12 weeks of unpaid vacation using the Family and Medical Leave Act to welcome a new child. Additionally, you will have access to your current benefits regarding health insurance plans. Depending on your employment status, there could be variations to your leave.
Spouses who work for the same employer will find their parental leave through the FMLA is split. One parent will receive six weeks of leave while the other receives the remaining six. This ensures the company doesn’t suffer from a loss of production while parents have equal access to bonding with their children.
Another type of parental leave parents need to consider is pregnancy leave. In Kansas, state-level laws require employers to offer pregnancy leave with reasonable notice. This type of leave is helpful for parents dealing with a disability due to pregnancy.
Pregnancy leave must be offered by every employer that conducts business in Kansas. Also, they must have more than four individuals in their employ. As an employee looking at these additional benefits, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- You must be giving birth to a child
- Have suffered a miscarriage
- Have chosen to obtain an abortion
- Are currently pregnant and have special requirements
Employee Protections for Sick Leave
When employees meet all of the sick-leave requirements for federal or private leave, they have the right to take time off. That said, employers cannot discriminate against those on leave, regardless of employer size or company policy.
Employers must offer employee protections like individuals in reserve or active military duty. Companies cannot threaten or dissuade employees requiring sick leave before taking time off. Additionally, employees must be granted the same position upon returning from leave or an equivalent position.
If an employee discriminates against an employee using their sick time, they could be exposed to considerable legal consequences. Employees have the right to file a complaint with the Department of Labor if they feel discriminated against at work.
Other Sick Leave Laws
In Kansas, there are a few other leave laws for employees and employers to consider, such as:
- Unused Vacation Time
It is at the discretion of employers to decide whether employees can accrue their unpaid or paid time off. It is also at the discretion of private companies to decide whether employers will compensate employees for their accrued leave at separation from employment.
- Emergency Duty
Employees in active service must be granted leave if they are called to duty in an emergency. This also applies to anyone participating in classified service or active state service.
- Termination of Employment
Employers do not have the right to terminate an employment position for any individual lawfully taking sick leave. Along with discrimination, terminating an employee on verified leave can have considerable legal consequences.