Currently, the minimum wage in Alaska is $10.34. If the minimum wage is $1.00 less than the federal minimum wage, the state will adjust the amount to be $1.00 more than said amount. Also, the state will adjust the minimum wage annually for urban consumers based on inflation.
Uniquely, Alaska must pay public school bus drivers a minimum of two times the current minimum wage in the state. Also, they must abide by federal minimum wage laws in that the state amount cannot be less than the federal standards.
For tipped workers, employers are not allowed to pay reduced minimum wages. In the state of Alaska, employers are not allowed to take control of an employee’s tips unless two instances occur:
- Employers are delivering cash amounts of tips left for employees via charge card
- Employers are redistributing tips to a pooling arrangement laid out in employment contracts
Visit our Alaska minimum wage information page to learn more about minimum wage in Alaska.
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Alaska labor laws require employers with four (4) or more employees to pay employees overtime at a rate of 1½ time their regular rate when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek or eight (8) hours in a workday. Some exceptions apply. Alaska DOL Wage and Hour Summary. An employer must also comply with federal overtime laws. See FLSA. Federal law will apply in cases where it benefits employees more than state law, otherwise state law applies.
Under certain circumstances, employers in Alaska may be required to pay residents wage rates established by the federal or state prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates, including Alaska Laborers’ & Mechanics’ Minimum Rates of Pay, may be different from the state’s standard minimum wage rates. Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on federal or state government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain federal or state government services. See the Alaska Laborers’ & Mechanics’ Minimum Rates of Pay, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.
Meals and Breaks
Alaska labor laws require employers to provide at least a 30-minute break to employees ages 14-17 if they work five (5) or more consecutive hours. The break must occur after the first hour and a half of work but before the beginning of the last hour of work. Alaska Statute 23.10.350(c).
Alaska employers are not required to provide breaks to employees ages 18 and over. However, if an employer chooses to provide a break, it must pay its employees for the time on break if it is 20 minutes or less. Meal periods provided by employers of over 20 minutes do not need to be paid, so long as employees do not perform any work. Alaska Minimum Wage Laws; see FLSA.
Nursing Mother Breaks
Alaska labor laws do not require employers to provide nursing mothers with breaks to express breast milk. However, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires certain employees to provide nonexempt nursing mothers for one (1) year following a child’s birth with reasonable rest breaks to express milk and private spaces, other than a bathroom, to express breast milk.
Alaska employers aren’t required to provide employees with paid or unpaid vacation benefits. If employers offer such benefits, they must follow the terms of employment contracts and company policies.
That said, employers must pay employees for accrued vacation leave upon termination of employment if outlined in a contract.
There is little information about vacation leave established by organizations in Alaska. So, employers are likely free to implement any vacation leave policies or contracts they desire. These policies could include:
- Capped vacation leave accrued by employees
- Use-it-or-lose-it policies regarding accrued vacation
- Forfeiture of accrued vacation leave upon employment termination
Visit our Alaska vacation leave information page to learn more about vacation leave in Alaska.
Employers in Alaska aren’t required to offer employees sick leave benefits, whether unpaid or paid. Those who choose to offer sick leave benefits must abide by the terms set in employment contracts or established policies.
Employers could also be required to provide employees with unpaid sick leave as per the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Visit our Alaska sick leave information page to learn more about sick leave in Alaska.
Private employers in the state aren’t obligated to provide employees with paid or unpaid holiday leave. Alaskan employers could also require employees to work on specific holidays. However, these employees are not entitled to premium pay, such as 1.5x their standard rate.
Employees could be eligible for premium pay if their holiday hours are classified as overtime.
Alaskan employers must follow overtime laws to ensure employees are paid fairly in these instances. Additionally, any employers offering unpaid or paid holiday leave must comply with employment contracts.Visit our Alaska holiday leave information page to learn more about holiday leave in Alaska.
Jury Duty Leave
Employers are not required to offer paid time off for employees serving on a jury or following a summons. They cannot coerce, threaten, or terminate an employee for responding to jury duty and its related services.Visit our Alaska jury duty information page to learn more about jury duty leave in Alaska.
When voting, employers in Alaska must give their employees paid time off to vote. However, this does not apply if the polls open two hours before or after an employee’s shift. In these instances, employees must vote during these periods without pay.
Visit our Alaska voting leave information page to learn more about voting leave in Alaska.
Alaska labor laws do not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. Alaska DOL Wage and Hour Summary. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
In Alaska, certain residents could be eligible to receive unemployment benefits while looking for new employment. There are specific eligibility requirements residents will need to meet when applying, which include:
- Applicants must be unemployed.
- Applicants must have worked within the state within the past 12 months.
- Applicants must have earned a minimum amount of wages based on Alaska guidelines.
- Applicants must actively seek work each week they are receiving benefits.
- The applicant must be a current resident of Alaska.
Visit Alaska’s unemployment information page to learn more about unemployment benefits in Alaska.