Filing a Wage and Hour Claim – Alaska
Does Alaska have state overtime laws that are different from federal law?
Under Alaska law, employers must pay employees at a rate of one and one-half the employee’s straight-time wage for working more than eight hours per day or 40 straight-time hours per week.
- An employee of an employer who employs three people or less in the regular course of business
- Any individual employed in handling, packing, storing, pasteurizing, drying, preparing in their raw or natural state or canning of agricultural or horticultural commodities for market or in making cheese or butter or other dairy products
- Any employee of any employer engaged in small mining operations where not more than 12 people are employed, as long as an individual is employed not in excess of 12 hours a day or 56 hours a week during a period or periods of not more than 14 workweeks in the aggregate in any calendar year during the mining season
- Any employee engaged in agriculture
- Any individual employed in planting or tending trees, cruising or surveying or bucking or felling timber, or in preparing or transporting logs or other forestry products to the mill, processing plant, railroad or other transportation terminal if the total number of employees in such forestry or lumber operation does not exceed 12
- Any individual employed as an outside buyer of poultry, eggs, cream or milk in their raw or natural state
- Casual employees as defined by regulations of the Commissioner of Labor
- Any employee of a hospital whose employment includes the provision of medical service
- Work performed by an employee under a Flexible Work Hour Plan if the plan is included as part of a collective bargaining agreement
- Work performed by an employee under a Voluntary Flexible Work Hour Plan if:
- The employee and the employer have signed a written agreement and the written agreement has been filed with the Labor Department; and
- The Labor Department has issued a certificate approving the plan which states the work is for 40 hours a week and not more than 10 hours a day; for work over 40 hours a week or 10 hours a day under a Flexible Work Hour Plan not included as part of a collective bargaining agreement, compensation at the rate of one and one-half times the regular rate of pay shall be paid for the overtime
- An individual employed as a line haul truck driver for trips exceeding 100 road miles, if the compensation system under which the truck driver is paid includes overtime pay for work in excess of 40 hours a week or for more than eight hours a day and the compensation system requires a rate of pay comparable to the rate of pay required by this section.
- An individual employed as a “community health aide” by a local or regional health organization.
Does Alaska have a minimum wage that is different from federal law?
As of January 1, 2012 the minimum wage for Alaska is $7.75.
Employers cannot use tips to reduce the minimum wage. If an employee agrees voluntarily in writing, however, an employer can decrease the minimum wage by the cost of meals and lodging even if the employee’s net pay is below the minimum wage. School bus drivers working for private contractors must be paid twice the minimum wage.
The following employees are exempt from the minimum wage requirement.
- Any individual employed in agriculture
- Any individual employed in the taking of aquatic life
- Any individual employed in the hand picking of shrimp
- Any individual employed in domestic service (including babysitters) in or about a private home
- Any individual employed by the United States, State or local government
- Any individual engaged in the activities of a nonprofit religious, charitable, cemetery, or educational organization where the services are on a voluntary basis
- Any individual engaged in the delivery of newspapers to the consumer
- Any individual employed solely as a watchman or caretaker on premises, property or plants not in operation for four months or more
- Any individual employed in a bona fide executive, professional or administrative capacity as defined by regulations of the Commissioner of Labor, or as an outside salesman or any salesman working on a straight commission basis
- Any individual employed in the search for placer or hard rock minerals
- Any individual under 18 years old employed on a part-time basis for not more than 30 hours in any week
- Employment by a nonprofit educational or child care facility to serve as a parent of children while the children are in residence at the facility if the employment requires residence at the facility and is compensated on a cash basis exclusive of room and board at an annual rate of less than:
- $10,000.00 for an unmarried person; or
- $15,000.00 for a married couple
- An independent cab driver who establishes the driving area and hours, who contracts on a flat rate basis for the use of the cab, cab permit or dispatch service, and who is compensated solely by the customers served
- A person who holds a license under Alaska Statutes 08.54 and who is employed by a registered guide or master guide licensed under Alaska Statutes 08.54, for the first 60 work days in which the person is employed by the registered guide or master guide during a calendar year
Does Alaska have meal and rest break requirements, unlike federal law?
Under Alaska law, employers are not required to provide for employees over the age of 18. If an employer allows breaks, employees must be paid for the break if it is less than 20 minutes. Employers are not required to pay employees for meal breaks which last longer than 20 minutes.
How do I file a wage/hour or labor standards claim in Alaska?
You can file a wage complaint with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DLWD). Information about how to file a claim is located in the DLWD website at http://labor.state.ak.us/iss/wagehelp.htm
What are my time deadlines?
If you have a wage/hour claim, do not delay in contacting the DLWD to file a claim. There are strict time limits in which wage claims must be filed. In order for the agency to act on your behalf for violations of overtime and minimum wage laws, you must file with the DLWD within two years from the date that the work was actually performed. Claims for straight-time wages or other promised benefits are subject to a three-year deadline.
As you might have other legal claims with shorter deadlines, do not wait to file your claim until your time limit is close to expiring. You may wish to consult with an attorney prior to filing your claim, if possible. Yet if you are unable to find an attorney who will assist you, it is not necessary to have an attorney to file your claim with the DLWD.
How can I or my attorney pursue a claim in court in Alaska?
In Alaska, employees can file a private lawsuit to recover unpaid back wages, liquidated damages, court costs, and attorneys’ fees.
State Labor Agency
This material was originally prepared by attorney Joseph Jaramillo and former law clerks Keia Cole and Adam Weiss of the law firm Goldstein, Demchak Baller Borgen and Dardarian, and was updated by Professor Douglas D. Scherer, of Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. Professor Scherer also serves as the Vice President of Workplace Fairness.
© 2015 Workplace Fairness