State Law: Kansas


The Law

The Kansas Act Against Discrimination makes it illegal for an employer or labor organization to discriminate against someone on the basis of sex.

An "employee" under the Kansas Act Against Discrimination "does not include any individual employed by such individual’s parents, spouse, or child, or in the domestic service of any person."

Under Kansas law, an "employer" means, "any person in this state employing four or more persons, and any person acting directly or indirectly for an employer, labor organizations, nonsectarian corporations, organizations engaged in social services work and the state of Kansas and all political and municipal subdivisions thereof, but shall not include a nonprofit fraternal or social association or cooperation."

Thus, the Kansas statute against discrimination in the workplace applies to all employers with four or more employees, while Title VII only applies to employers with 15+ employees.

The Kansas Act Against Discrimination specifically covers employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, disability, national origin and ancestry.

Filing A Complaint

The Kansas Human Rights Commission investigates complaints filed with it free of charge. Complaints under state law must be filed within six months of the date you became aware you were being discriminated against or the date of the alleged illegal act. You may file a complaint with the Commission by visiting the Topeka office or through an attorney. The Commission is located at: 900 SW Jackson, Suite 568-S; Topeka, KS 66612-1258. You can reach the Commission by calling (785) 296-3206.

To file an employment discrimination complaint, you must complete a . An intake officer will be available to help you draft a complaint. Mediation may be attempted. If this fails, the Commission will conduct an investigation.

An investigator will be assigned to your case, who will act as a neutral decision-maker to collect all relevant information. This will be reported to a commissioner, who will determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe you have been discriminated against and your rights violated.

If probable cause is found, you and your employer will be required to attempt to negotiate a settlement. If settlement negotiations fail, a public hearing will be held. You may decide to go through the federal or state court process instead of the Commission’s investigative process. You must first file with the EEOC or Kansas Commission and request a Notice of Right to Sue letter in order to file in court. The attorney you hire will explain this process to you. Many Kansas attorneys choose to file employment discrimination cases in federal court. However, most cases may be brought in either state or federal court. State law limits compensatory (emotional pain/suffering) damages to $2,000, which are capped at $300,000 under federal law.

For more information and a more detailed explanation of the complaint process, please visit the Kansas Human Rights Commission website.