Kansas Wrongful Discharge Law
Kansas, like most states, considers employees to be
employees at will.  This means that your employer can
terminate your employment for any or no reason unless the
reason violates state or federal discrimination laws.  There
are, however, exceptions to this harsh rule.

Contracts for employment:  Some Kansas employees have
employment contracts that limit the reasons that an
employer can fire them.  If you signed a contract for your
job, or negotiated the terms of your hire and have a letter of
appointment, you might very well have a contract that limits
the ability of your employer to terminate you.

Employee Handbooks:  Many employers have employee
handbooks that set out a disciplinary process and the reasons
that an employee can be terminated.  Usually, the employer
is not bound by these handbooks since the employees rarely
bargain for what is in them.  They are considered to be
policies of the employer which it can ignore if it so chooses.  
However, sometimes these handbooks can become binding
on an employer.  This can happen when an employee is told
that he can only be fired for reasons stated in the handbook
or for good cause.  When an employee relies on this
representation, the employer might become bound by the
provisions of its own handbook.  If you think you were the
victim of wrongful termination, you should consult any
employee handbook that you might have received to see
what it says about terminations.

Wrongful discharge or termination:  Even when an employer
does not violate state or federal discrimination laws, or when
there is no actual contract between it and its employees, it
still can be guilty of a wrongful discharge or termination.  In
Kansas, an employer is liable for wrongful discharge when it
terminates an employee in violation of an important public
policy, and this includes whistle blowing.  Often, these
policies are related to state statutes.  

The best example of wrongful discharge in Kansas is when an
employer terminates an employer for filing a workers
compensation claim or for missing work due to a
work-related injury.  Also, if an employer terminates an
employee for reporting suspected violations of health and
safety laws, the employer might be guilty of a wrongful
discharge or termination--this is a case of whistle blowing.

Another example of wrongful discharge is when an employer
fires an employee who refuses to engage in an illegal act.
In all of these examples, the employee can go to court and
challenge his or her termination.  The employee will have the
burden of proof to demonstrate that the employer did engage
in wrongful termination; but, if the employee can prove this,
he or she will be entitled to damages, and could be reinstated
if it makes sense to do so.

If you think you have been the victim of a wrongful
termination, you should consult a competent Kansas
employment attorney who represents Kansas employees.  
Your case would need to be examined based upon your
specific facts before an attorney could advise you on whether
your Kansas employment rights have been violated.
Michael M. Shultz
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