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Kansas Legislature (Finally) Finishes Record-Long 2015 Session
By: Tara Eberline

Hiring Preference, Reinstatement Rights, and Tuition Breaks for Veterans  

First, the Kansas legislature enacted HB2154, which allows private employers to “adopt an employment policy that gives preference in hiring to a veteran, provided that the veteran meets the requirements of the vacant position.” To establish a veteran’s preference policy, employers must have a written policy and apply the policy consistently to all decisions regarding initial employment. The preference is only available to veterans who provide proof of honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions.
The bill also expands employment reinstatement rights to employees working in Kansas who return from being ordered to state active duty for the Kansas Army National Guard, Kansas Air National Guard, or other military forces. The employees must provide the employer adequate notice and be released from state active duty under honorable conditions to qualify for reinstatement. Previously, this reinstatement right did not apply to members of the National Guard who were employed outside of their affiliated state. 
A third provision of the law provides that veterans, active duty members of the armed forces, and their spouses and children are considered residents for purposes of receiving in-state tuition at the public colleges and universities throughout Kansas.
Changes to Unemployment Insurance
The second change affecting Kansas employers involves the state’s unemployment system. Current law sets a weekly cap on unemployment benefits at 60% of the employee’s average weekly wages, with a maximum of $474 per week. The new law limits maximum weekly benefits at 55% of the employee’s wages,      Continue Reading...
Governor Rescinds Anti-Discrimination Protection for LGBT State Employees
By: Tara Eberline

On February 10, 2015, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback rescinded an executive order that provided persons employed by the State of Kansas protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and sexual identity. The executive order was originally signed in 2007 by then-Governor Kathleen Sebelius. Brownback stated that any action to create additional protected classifications should be done by the legislature rather than by executive order. The rescinded executive order was replaced with one that Brownback says “reaffirms the commitment of the State of Kansas to employment practices which do not discriminate based on race, color, gender, religion, national origin, ancestry or age.”



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Don Berner, the Labor Law, OSHA, & Immigration Law Guy
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Boyd Byers, the General Employment Law Guy
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Jason Lacey, the Employee Benefits Guy
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