What Is the Minimum Wage in Kansas State?

Katie McBeth  | 

The state of Kansas has not changed its minimum wage since 2010, when it was raised to match the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

Luckily, there may be some minimum wage increases in the future, as one Kansas lawmaker is working hard to create and pass a minimum wage increase law. If successful, the next couple of years could see a steady increase in minimum wage across the state.

2019 Minimum Wage in Kansas: $7.25 per hour

The last change that was made to the Kansas minimum wage was in January, 2010, when the state increased their minimum wage laws to match the federal level. Prior to that, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour was applied to all states across the nation when the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) updated the minimum wage requirements in July, 2009.

Prior to the federal minimum wage increase, Kansas had one of the lowest state-mandated minimum wages at $2.65 an hour, which was set in 1991.

As with other states, there are some exemptions to the federal minimum wage laws set by the FLSA. Those exemptions are as follows:

  • Salaried employees: According to the FLSA, employees on salary must make a wage of at least $455 per week.
  • Tipped employees: As with many other states, employees that earn tips may receive a lower minimum wage, as long as the tipped amount plus the wage amount equals an average of $7.25 an hour. More on this below.
  • Employees under the age of 20: Employees under the age of 20 may earn what is known as a “training wage” for their first 90 days of employment. The federal wage requirement for training wages is $4.25 an hour, and employers must increase these wages to $7.25 once the employee has completed their first 90 days.
  • Student employees: Employees that are working part-time (no more than 20 hours a week) while also attending high school or college full-time may earn 85 percent of the minimum wage, which is $6.16 per hour.

Tipped: $2.13 per hour

In Kansas, employees that earn tips may be paid a lower minimum wage of at least $2.13 an hour, as long as they are also earning enough tips to equal an average of $7.25 an hour. Employers are allowed to use the tips that employees earn as “credit” towards the hourly rate of pay they provide their employees. However, employers are required to ensure that the “tip credit” does not exceed $5.12, and that employees are paid at least $2.13 an hour for their work (plus tips).

Tipped employees are defined by the state as those making at least $20 in tips per month. This can include servers, waiters, bellhops, bartenders, and others.

Weekly: $290 for 40 hours

Besides the exemption in place for salaried employees, employees earning a minimum wage in Kansas should expect to be paid $290 per week for a full 40-hour workweek. This equates to about $58 per 8 hour workday.

Annually: $15,080 per year

Employees earning a minimum wage in Kansas and working a full-time job should expect a yearly salary of about $15,080, before taxes.

The minimum wage is often adjusted based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Federal Poverty Guidelines, but the current minimum wage was last adjusted in 2009. The most recent Poverty Guidelines state that the poverty line for a two person household is $16,910, whereas, for a single person, the poverty line is set at $12,490.

Although there is no legislation currently in the works on a federal level, state legislation may pass soon, which could increase the minimum wage and help elevate families out of poverty in Kansas.

Overtime: $10.88 per hour

Employees that work more than 40 hours in a workweek are entitled to overtime pay, which is time-and-a-half of their regular pay. For minimum wage employees, this equals $10.88 per hour of overtime worked.

Kansas Minimum Wage Increase News

As mentioned earlier, Kansas may see a significant minimum wage increase in the coming years if new legislation is approved by the State Congress. According to local news outlet KWCH12, Representative Jim Ward of Wichita is working with local lawmakers to propose a staggered increase to the state’s minimum wage.

According to Rep. Ward’s plan, the minimum wage would increase to $11 in 2020, followed by $15 an hour in 2021. The status of the bill is still pending approval, but local small businesses are ready to embrace the change despite any potential setbacks the increase may cause.

If successful, the bill would help nearly double the current minimum wage rate in the state of Kansas. Currently, there is no city in the state that has a higher minimum wage than that of the federal standard.

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Katie McBeth is a researcher and writer out of Boise, ID, with experience in marketing for small businesses and management. Her favorite subject of study is millennials, and she has been featured on Fortune Magazine and the Quiet Revolution. She researches SEO strategies during the day, and freelances at night. You can follow her writing adventures on Instagram or Twitter: @ktmcbeth

This post was updated July 17, 2019. It was originally published July 17, 2019.