An Act concerning the department of human resources; relating to collection of wage claims; amending K.S.A. 44-324 and repealing the existing section.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
Section 1. K.S.A. 44-324 is hereby amended to read as follows: 44- 324. (a) Any proceeding by one or more employees to assert any claim arising under or pursuant to this act may be brought in any court of competent jurisdiction.
(b) Whenever the secretary determines under K.S.A. 44-322a and amendments thereto that an employee has a valid claim for unpaid wages and determines that the amount of the claim is less than $10,000, the secretary, upon the written request of the employee, shall take an assign- ment of the claim in trust for such employee and shall take action appro- priate to enforce or defend such claim. Whenever the secretary deter- mines under K.S.A. 44-322a and amendments thereto that an employee has a valid claim for unpaid wages and determines that the amount of the claim is equal to or greater than $10,000, the secretary, upon the written request of the employee, may take an assignment of the claim in trust for such employee and if the assessment is taken, shall take action appropriate to enforce or defend such claim. With the written consent of the assignor, the secretary may settle or adjust any claim assigned pursuant to this subsection. Whenever the secretary takes an assignment of a claim in trust for an employee under this section, the secretary shall charge and collect a fee therefor which fee shall be fixed by rules and regulations adopted by the secretary. The fee fixed by rules and regulations shall be in an amount of not more than $25 per claim assigned under this section.
(c) If the secretary prevails on behalf of the employee, the court shall award a judgment to the agency in an amount equal to the cost of rea- sonable attorney fees for such action.
(c) (d) There is hereby created the wage
claims assignment fee fund. The secretary shall remit all moneys
received for assignment and attorney fees charged and
collected under this section to the state treasurer at least
monthly. Upon receipt of each such remittance, the state treasurer
shall deposit the entire amount thereof in the state treasury.
Twenty per- cent of each such deposit shall be credited to the
state general fund and the balance shall be credited to the wage
claims assignment fee fund. All expenditures from the wage claims
assignment fee fund shall be made in accordance with appropriation
acts upon warrants of the director of ac- counts and reports issued
pursuant to vouchers approved by the secretary or by a person or
persons designated by the secretary.
Sec. 2. K.S.A. 44-324 is hereby repealed.
Sec. 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its publication in the statute book.
Approved April 10, 1996.