Are you being paid correctly? Every day, millions of workers across the nation are being stolen from by their employers. We call this wage theft, when businesses fail to compensate employees in accordance with federal and state law. And workers lose out on billions of dollars every year in minimum wage and overtime violations. Thousands of employees in Alaska may be hurt by similar schemes.
Overtime & Wage Violation Lawyers In Alaska
While the experienced overtime attorneys at WageAdvocates.com are not licensed to practice law in the State of Alaska, we work with a nationwide alliance of wage and hour lawyers who can help workers in all 50 states. To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced lawyers today for a free consultation.
After learning about your situation, we can help guide you through your choices at no charge and no obligation. Then we can find you the help you need to get back the money you earned. In fact, workers who are successful in bringing an unpaid overtime case are often doubly rewarded for their efforts. That’s true in Alaska, too, where a state labor law says that most employees who win overtime claims are entitled to secure liquidated damages. These damages, paid in addition to your back wages, usually equal the amount of money that was stolen from you.
How Much Is Minimum Wage In Alaska?
As of January 1, 2018, the minimum wage in Alaska is $9.84 per hour. That’s higher than the federal standard, which has stagnated at $7.25 for years. Alaskan workers are always entitled to the higher minimum wage. There’s only one big exception to Alaska’s minimum wage, a special law that covers school bus drivers. A State law passed in 1989 says that local school bus drivers should always make at least the twice the applicable minimum wage. So that means no school bus driver in Alaska should be getting less than $19.60 per hour.
Setting school bus drivers aside, Alaska also has minimum wage exceptions for people with disabilities, student workers, agricultural employees and people who work in the seafood industry. To find a full list of exceptions, visit Alaska’s Department of Labor.
No Tip Credits Allowed
There’s no such thing as a “tip credit” in Alaska. For employees who make more than $30 per month in tips, most states allow employers to pay a sub-minimum wage. The employer calculates a “tip credit,” which is equal to the worker’s hourly rate in tips, then subtracts that amount from the applicable minimum wage. Alaska doesn’t allow this. No matter how much you make in tips, your employer always has to pay you at least the State minimum wage, $9.80 per hour, in cash.
Daily Overtime In Alaska
Federal law doesn’t require daily overtime for eligible workers, but Alaska State law does. On a weekly basis, Alaska’s overtime regulations follow national guidelines. Any covered worker who performs more than 40 hours of work in a week is entitled to overtime, or premium, wages for the extra hours.
But in addition to this weekly standard, Alaska also says that overtime should be paid on a daily basis. Anyone who works more than 8 hours in a single day (or consecutive 24-hour period) becomes entitled to a daily overtime premium. In either case, weekly or daily, the overtime rate is to be paid at “time-and-a-half,” or one-and-one-half times the worker’s regular rate of pay.
What Is The Regular Rate?
In most cases, an employee’s regular rate of pay is simply their hourly wage. So if you make $10 an hour normally, your overtime wage would be $15. But certain bonuses and commissions also need to be factored into the calculation. In other words, if you get paid a bonus in the same week that you work overtime, your overtime wage should be higher than normal, to account for the bonus compensation you received.
Can Salaried Workers Make Overtime?
Alongside hourly workers, many salaried employees are also entitled to overtime (though they don’t always get it). When this is the case, your monthly or annual salary needs to be converted into an hourly wage. Let’s say you make an annual salary of $40,000. And we’ll also assume that you perform “non-exempt duties” at your job, which means you’re entitled to overtime wages.
To find your correct overtime wage, take your salary ($40,000) and divide it by 52, the number of weeks in a year. Then divide the result by 40, the number of hours in a standard workweek (if you work fewer or more hours in a usual week, use the number of hours you actually work instead of 40). In the end, you get your hourly rate. In our example, we divide $40,000 by 52 to get $769.20. Next we divide $769.2 by 40 to get $19.20, the hypothetical worker’s hourly wage. And their overtime wage should be $28.80, which is $19.20 times 1.5.
When Overtime Pay Becomes Wage Theft
We’ve seen hundreds of cases, including a few in Alaska, where an employer improperly calculated their workers’ overtime rates. Our attorneys have also noted a rising number of claims in which the overtime wage was calculated properly, but the employer failed to include all of the worker’s overtime hours.
Sometimes these are honest mistakes, but we’ve also investigated businesses that created elaborate schemes to steal from their employees, using complex calculations and record-keeping practices to make everything seem above-board. In either case, it’s against the law. Neither federal nor Alaska State law cares whether or not an employer intentionally committed wage theft. Workers always deserve the money they’ve earned, plain and simple.
The proper response to wage theft is action. But it can be hard to figure out if your employer is actually stealing from you. That’s why the help of an experienced professional is invaluable. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to pursue your case, and we do it all on a contingency-fee basis. That means we offer our services free-of-charge until we’ve successfully secured compensation in your case. If we don’t win, you pay nothing. Reach out for a free consultation today. You won’t regret it.
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