Alaska Leave Laws and Minimum Wage: An Overview for Businesses
Alaska Sick Leave Laws
Employers across the United States have seen local cities and states enacting additional employment and labor laws. This has often made it costly and expensive for businesses to balance compliance, especially when located in multiple states. In the last 12 months alone, the country has seen additional Family Medical Leave Laws enacted in New York, Rhode Island, D.C. and additional sick leave and secure scheduling laws across 7 other localities.
Employers in Alaska have asked about local labor laws. Alaska doesn’t have a current sick leave law on the books. Nor does state law preempt any local government from enacting sick leave ordinances.
However, if an employer has offered sick leave to their employees they will be under legal obligation to provide the promised benefits. In addition, employers in Alaska do have to provide unpaid leave in compliance with the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
In January 2017, Alaska legislature introduced HB 30, the third sick leave bill that would mandate paid sick leave to be provided by private employers in Alaska. However, that bill has not progressed and is likely to die like the previous two bills.
Alaska does have two leave bills that employers are required to provide and a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum wage. The first protected leave is the Jury Duty Leave and the second is Voting Leave.
Jury Duty Leave & Voting Leave In Alaska
Alaska employers are not required to pay leave for jury duty when an employee serves on a jury. However, under Alaska law, employees are protected when taking leave for jury duty and must be reinstated to their position. Employers are not allowed to threaten, coerce, penalize, or discharge an employee who complies with a jury summons or serves on a jury.
Employers in Alaska are required to provide paid time off for employees to vote. The exception to this leave is when the employee has at least 2 hours to vote because the polls open 2 hours before their shift starts or close 2 hours after their shift ends.
Alaska Minimum Wage Laws
On January 2017, Alaska’s minimum wage raised from $9.75 to $9.80 per hour. The minimum wage changes annually based on the Consumer Price Index. According to the minimum wage law, tips to employees cannot count as credit toward the minimum wage.
Alaska does provide several exceptions to the minimum wage laws. Those exceptions are:
- Handicapped persons (Department Approval Required)
- Student learners (Department Approval Required)
- Agriculture Workers
- Employment in taking of aquatic life
- Employment in hand picking of shrimp
- Domestic Servants, including babysitting, in a private home
- Federal, State and Local government employees
- Voluntary employees for non profit or religious organizations
- Newspaper delivery employees
- Watchmen or caretakers for plants, premises or property that have been opened less than 4 months.
- Any executive, administrative, or professional employee as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or any purely commission only sales person
- Employees searching for placer or hard rock materials
- Minors employed less than 30 hours a week
- Resident employees of a nonprofit education or child care facility who serves as a parent of the children and who resides on the premises.
- Independent cab drivers who are compensated by the customers served
- Registered Guides
- Computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer, or other similarly skilled worker
- Voluntary Emergency Services Worker, Fire Department volunteer, or Ski Patrol volunteer
- University of Alaska student participating in a practicum
- Employee of a motor vehicle dealer who services, repairs, analyses, arranges financing, solicits, sells, leases or exchanges motor vehicles.
Employees working, or volunteering in these lines of work are not required to be paid minimum wage. However, in case a dispute arises regarding employee pay, employers should maintain employment and payroll information.
Alaska Employment Record Keeping Laws
Alaska requires that all employer maintain records of each employee for at least three years. Records should include hours worked and all payroll information including employee contact information, job position, timekeeping record of hours worked, hours paid, any leave granted to the employee as well as benefits provided to the employee. Ideally, records should not be manually kept as they are more easily misplaced, lost or missing vital information.
Let SwipeClock Help
Businesses who have employees in Alaska, as well as a growing list of other states and cities have to comply with Federal Overtime Laws, the Family Medical Leave Act and any other national or local laws that are enacted. SwipeClock provides a comprehensive array of workforce management and time tracking tools that can help businesses to more easily stay in compliance with local and national laws.
Records are effortlessly kept for years and accrual is automatically tracked and reported to employees according the state and city laws. Additionally, with geo-timekeeping clocks, businesses can effortlessly track time worked in specific cities to ensure compliance.
Written by Annemaria Duran. Last updated May 26, 2017.
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