Kansas state makes a pretty clear division between employees and independent contractors. In other words, it is your job as an employer to pay unemployment insurance benefit taxes for all of your employees. But when it comes to people you hire temporarily as independent contractors, then you don’t have to pay for them for their unemployment benefits.
For both types of workers, though, it is your responsibility to have an unemployment benefit poster in your work site. So no matter who that worker happens to be in your break room or your lunch room, they should have an unemployment benefit poster to look at in case they want to know what their rights are—if any—to receive unemployment insurance in case you stop paying them.
But getting back to that distinction that Kansas makes for independent contractors, the main difference in the state’s mind is that an employee is actually somebody who you have hired to perform certain services—and while they are performing those services, you have control over how, why, and when they perform those services. This determining factor is called the “right of control,” and includes your right to discharge the worker at any time, and without any reason.
That’s a way to determine if a worker is an employee. To make a determination if a worker is an independent contractor, the state of Kansas considers a number of factors. These include that the worker also offers their services not only to you, but also to other companies and the public in general. Usually independent contractors also bring their own tools, equipment, and supplies when doing the service.
Another determining factor is the length of time and nature of the service provided. Is it a one-time, short-term service? Is it performed sort of outside the normal operation of your company? For instance, is your company an ice cream manufacturer and this particular worker is fixing the woman’s bathroom in your office and then is done working for you? That would qualify as an independent contractor.
Kansas unemployment benefits provide temporary compensation to those workers meeting the eligibility requirements of Kansas law. The basic requirements for collecting unemployment are that a worker must:
Have been employed. The Kansas Department of Human Resources publishes requirements for wages earned or time worked during an established period of time referred to as a “base period.”
Be determined to be unemployed through no fault of their own as defined under Kansas law.
File ongoing claims and respond to questions concerning continued eligibility. They must report any earnings from work and any job offers or refusal of work during any claim period.
Meet any other unemployment eligibility requirements of Kansas law.
In general, I understand, unemployment benefits are based on an individual’s earnings in the base period. As of January, 2005, benefits ranged from $99 to $359. The duration of unemployment benefits is 10-26 weeks, but benefits can be extended by Kansas during times of high unemployment or other special circumstances.
Workers who lose their job or whose employment is reduced as a result of increased foreign imports may be eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance. This Adjustment Assistance includes training, training allowances, job search and relocation assistance and other support services.
The North American Free Trade Agreement-Transitional Adjustment Assistance program (NAFTA-TAA) assists workers who lose their jobs or whose hours of work and wages are reduced as the result of trade with Canada or Mexico under the North American Free Trade Act. This includes workers whose jobs are affected due to increased imports from Canada or Mexico or where there has been a shift of production to Canada or Mexico. The NAFTA-TAA program provides an array of retraining and reemployment services to affected workers.
My research shows that Kansas denies unemployment benefits to those who are discharged for misconduct related to drug or alcohol impairment. The results of a chemical test are admissible evidence to prove misconduct if a variety of conditions are met, including, but not limited to, the test was requried by state or federal law, or there was probable cause to believe the individual was impaired while working.
Kansas state unemployment benefits are subject to Federal income taxes, and workers may elect to have taxes withheld from their unemployment check.
Employers must post the Kansas Unemployment Insurance poster in a public part of their business.