Alaska Wage Payment Laws
- Frequency of wage payments
- Manner of wage payments
- Direct deposit
- Payment upon separation from employment
- Wage in dispute
- Deductions from wages
- Uniforms, tools, and other equipment necessary for employment
- Pre-hire medical, physical, or drug tests
- Notice of wage reduction
- Statement of wages (pay stubs)
- Record keeping requirements
- Notice requirements
Frequency of Wage Payments
In Alaska, an employer must pay its employees either semi-monthly or monthly, as elected by the employee. Alaska Stat. 23.5.140
Manner of Wage Payments
In Alaska, an employer may pay wages by cash or check redeemable at face value. Alaska Stat. 23.10.040
An employer may pay wages by direct deposit, so long as the employee has consented to the deposit and the wages are deposited into a financial institution of the employee’s choosing. Alaska Stat. 23.10.043. Alaska employers cannot require an employee to receive payment of wages by direct deposit.
Payment upon Separation from Employment
Employees who are fired, discharged, terminated, or permanently laid off
When an employee is discharged from employment by the employer, no matter the reason, the employer must pay the employee all wages due within 3 working days. Alaska Stat. 23.5.140
Employees who quit or resign
When an employee voluntarily quits or resigns employment, the employer must pay the employee by the next regular pay day. Alaska Stat. 23.5.140
Employees who are suspended or resigns due to a labor dispute (strike)
When an employee leaves employment as a result of a labor dispute, the employer must pay the employee by the next regular pay day. Alaska Stat. 23.5.170
Employees who are temporarily laid off
When an employee is temporarily laid off, the employer must pay the employee by the next regular pay day. Alaska Stat. 23.5.170
Wages in Dispute
If there is a dispute between the employer and the employee regarding wages due, the employer must give the employee written notice to the employee of the wages, or part of the wages, that the employer concedes to be due, and must pay that amount, without condition, within the time required, depending on whether the employee was discharged or voluntarily quit. The employer may retain the disputed amount until the matter is resolved. Alaska Stat. 23.5.180
Deductions from Wages
An employer may not make any deductions from an employee’s wages for:
- cash shortages,
- damage or lost property,
- the cost of uniforms or necessary equipment,
- dishonored or bad checks, or
- any similar deductions.
An employer may, with the employee’s written consent, make the following deductions from wages:
- an amount to pay a creditor, donee, or other third party. The employer, or any person acting in the employer’s behalf or interest, may not derive any profit or benefit from the transaction.
- an amount to reimburse an employer for transportation from the place of hire to the place of employment if the deduction does not reduce the employee’s wages below the statutory minimum or overtime compensation rate below one and one-half times the contractual rate of pay.
- an amount for the reasonable cost of furnishing board and lodging, if the board and lodging facilities of the employer are “customarily” furnished by the employer and voluntarily used by the employees and the cost to the employee for the use of the employer’s board and lodging facilities is reasonable and without profit to the employer. (Unless the employer and the employee have executed a written agreement before the deduction, the employer is prohibited from seeking to retroactively deduct the cost of board and lodging as an offset against wages due upon termination or wage deficiencies subject to collection by the department.)
- an amount as a security deposit to ensure the return, clean and in a state of good repair, of uniforms or equipment issued by the employer, if the total deposit does not exceed the cost of the item; and the deduction does not reduce the employee’s wage below the statutory minimum or reduce the employee’s overtime compensation below one and one-half times the contractual rate of pay.
Uniforms, Tools, and Other Equipment Necessary for Employment
An employer may not require an employee to purchase a uniform or equipment if:
- the uniform or equipment is required by the federal, state, or local safety or health codes; or
- the nature of the employer’s business requires their use, and if the uniform or equipment:
- is distinctive and advertises or is associated with the products or services of the employer, except clothing that constitutes a uniform or equipment that advertises the products or services of the employer which is customarily sold to the public by the employer; or
- cannot be worn or used during normal social activities of the employee.
An employer may require an employee to pay a security deposit to ensure the return, clean and in a state of good repair, of uniforms or equipment issued by the employer, if the total deposit does not exceed the cost of the item; and the deduction does not reduce the employee’s wage below the statutory minimum or reduce the employee’s overtime compensation below one and one-half times the contractual rate of pay. 8 AAC 15.160
Pre-hire Medical, Physical, or Drug tests
Alaska does not have any laws addressing whether an employer must pay for pre-hire medical, physical, or drug tests.
Notice of Wage Reduction
An employer must inform its employees of any changes to wages or the day or place of payment no later than the payday prior to the time of change. An employer may comply with this notice requirement by posting the established terms in a conspicuous location at or near the place of work where it can be seen by employees as they come and go from work.
Alaska Stat. 23.5.160
Statement of Wages (Pay Stub)
An employer must provide employees on each pay day a statement of earnings and deductions which includes:
- rate of pay;
- gross wages;
- net wages;
- beginning and ending dates of the pay period;
- federal income tax deductions;
- Federal Insurance Contribution Act deductions;
- Alaska Employment Security Act contributions;
- board and lodging costs;
- straight time and overtime hours actually worked in the pay period; and
- other authorized deductions.
Record Keeping Requirements
Alaska law requires an employer to keep for a period of at least three years at the place where an employee is employed a record of:
- the name, address, and occupation of each employee,
- the rate of pay and the amount paid each pay period to each employee,
- the hours worked each day and each workweek by each employee, and
- other relevant payroll information.
An employer must notify employees in writing at the time of hire of the day and place of payment and their wage rate. If an employer must inform employees of changes to wages or day or place of payment no later than the payday prior to the time of change. An employer may comply with this notice requirement by posting the established terms in a conspicuous location at or near the place of work where it can be seen by employees as they come and go from work. Alaska Stat. 23.5.160