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Saab Story
06/24/2011

Yesterday the Swedish automaker Saab informed its employees that it could not pay them their wages this month because it could not secure short-term funding.  Saab and its parent company said they are in discussions with various parties to obtain financing arrangements.  If Saab does not pay the wages within 10 days, employees have the right under Swedish law to file a demand with a government enforcement agency. 

Unfortunately, similar stories have played out in Kansas over the past several years as a result of the economic downturn.  Companies that employ workers in Kansas should be aware that they are subject to the Kansas Wage Payment Act, which protects wage earners and their wages. 

Under the KWPA, employers must pay their employees all wages due at least once each calendar month, on regular paydays designated in advance.  These paydays cannot be more than 15 days after the end of the pay period.  An employer that fails to pay employees' wages is potentially liable not only for the amount of the unpaid wages, but also for interest and a penalty.  The penalty for willful non-payment of wages is one percent of the unpaid wages per day (except Sundays and holidays), starting the eighth day after the wages were due, up to a maximum of 100% of the unpaid wages.    

If the employing company iteself does not pay the wages, major shareholders, officers, managers, agents, and other persons in charge of the employer's affairs who knowingly permit the employer to engage in a violation of the KWPA can also be held liable for the unpaid wages, interest, and penalties.  In addition, if a Kansas employer contracts to perform work, and then subcontracts some or all of the work, the contracting employer is responsible for paying wages to the subcontractor's employees if the subcontractor fails to pay.  So be careful of the company you keep! 

 


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