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What You Need to Know About Kansas’s Minimum Wage

Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Please consult a tax attorney or tax professional if you have questions about minimum wage compliance.
Tiffany Walden, Writer

Twenty states and 26 cities made the move to increase minimum wage rates for their residents in 2020. Kansas, however, didn’t budge. Because of this, there is a lot of talk about when Kansas will join the movement for higher minimum wages.

From the looks of it, the minimum wage in Kansas may increase sooner rather than later. To make sure that you’re up to date with the conversation, we’ve created this guide to breaking down the minimum wage in Kansas.

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What is the minimum wage in Kansas?

The minimum wage rate in Kansas is the same as the federal minimum wage rate, $7.25. It hasn’t changed since 2010.

Kansas’ minimum wage rate applies to almost all employees, but here are some exceptions:

  • Employers can take a “tip credit” of up to $5.12 per hour. Tipped employees must be paid a minimum of $2.13 per hour. In Kansas a tipped employee is someone who receives more than $20 in tips per month.

  • Student workers and interns can be paid 85 percent of the minimum wage rate, or $6.16 per hour up to 20 hours per week at certain employers (such as work-study programs at universities and colleges).

  • Any new employee under the age of 20 can be paid a training wage of $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days of work

  • Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), some employees are considered exempt.

  • Federal contractor employees must be paid a minimum wage of $10.80, effective January 1, 2020.

Will the minimum wage change in 2020?

There are no plans to change the minimum wage in Kansas this year. But there are conversations about increasing the minimum wage rate in 2021 and bey

Are there plans to change the Kansas minimum wage beyond 2020?

Despite the minimum wage not changing in 2020, it may double in the next two years. A new bill to raise Kansas minimum wage was introduced by Representative Jim Ward of Wichita. The bill is asking the state legislature to vote on increasing the rate to $11 per hour in 2020 and up to $15 per hour in 2021.

Some business owners caution against raising Kansas state minimum wage too high. The cost of living in Kansas is not as high as it is in major cities like New York City, Los Angeles, and Seattle, so business owners hope lawmakers keep that in mind when deciding on the new minimum wage in Kansas.

How should small business owners prepare for changes to the Kansas minimum wage?

Changes to the minimum wage in Kansas may be coming soon. You’ll want to make sure you get in front of those changes so you can continue running and growing your business. Here are some tips to help you get ready for a minimum wage increase, should it come in 2020 or beyond.

Audit your expenses: This is the first place you need to look when figuring out how the minimum wage increase will affect your business. Look over your cash flow and see if there are any changes you can make. Do you have extra space in your store? Consider renting to other entrepreneurs as a source of income.

Keep good employees: It’s expensive to hire and fire and recruit and train employees. When you do hire new workers, make sure you’re hiring quality employees who will stick around and add positively to company culture.

Update technology: Have you ever considered automating your payroll? It could save your business a few bucks. Square payroll software has a robust set of features with small business pricing. This system helps automate and keep track of both hourly and salaried employee payroll. Plus, avoiding mistakes during tax season is a lot easier thanks to automatic quarterly and annual tax filings. There may be other areas in your business that could be automated as well.

Whether it’s navigating minimum wage in Kansas changes, searching for Covid-19 small business resources, or trying to find where you can get a free EIN, Square is here to help you and your small business succeed.

Tiffany Walden is a contributor at Square where she covers everything from the importance of mentorship for minority entrepreneurs to how business owners can use technology to combat challenges within their respective industries.