This article is intended to answer questions about overtime laws in Alaska.
Alaska has its own overtime law, known as the Alaska Wage and Hour Act, or AWHA. Under the AWHA, many employees in Alaska are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay for every hour worked above forty in a week, and for every hour worked above eight in a day. There are certain exemptions under the AWHA, which apply to workers with specific job duties or that work in particular industries. The AWHA provides that in addition to overtime pay, workers suing under the statute for unpaid overtime may be entitled to liquidated damages in an equal amount. Liquidated damages are to be awarded unless the employer can show by clear and convincing evidence that the act or omission giving rise to the action was made in good faith and that the employer had reasonable grounds for believing that the act or omission was not in violation of the statute. A court is also required to award attorney’s fees to the worker unless unless the defendant shows by clear and convincing evidence that the act or omission giving rise to the action was made in good faith and that the defendant had reasonable grounds for believing that the act or omission was not in violation of the AWHA, in which case:
(1) the court may award attorney fees to the plaintiff in accordance with court rules; or
(2) if the defendant would be entitled to attorney fees if the action were subject to the standards under court rule offers of judgment, the court may not award attorney fees to either the plaintiff or the defendant.
Claims for unpaid overtime may be brought as a class action under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, in which a plaintiff could sue on behalf of other workers who were paid in the same manner and likewise denied overtime pay.
Under the AWHA, the statute of limitations is two years. Thus, it is imperative that any worker who has been denied overtime pay in Alaska move quickly to assert their legal rights or else they could lose their claim.
Alaska had over 6,000 jobs in the oil industry in 2019. The oil industry is rife with overtime violations. Oil and gas companies often create pay schemes which may illegally deny workers overtime pay. Some common pay schemes that may constitute overtime violations include day rates, straight time and salaries. If you have worked in Alaska within the past two years and not been paid time and a half for every hour you worked over forty in a week or eight in a day, you should speak with an experienced overtime attorney as quickly as possible to understand your legal rights.
About the Author: Josh Borsellino is an attorney licensed in Texas. He regularly represents employees suing for unpaid overtime. In addition to being licensed to practice in Texas, Josh is also admitted to practice in the federal district court in New Mexico. Many of his cases involve those in the oil and gas industry seeking their overtime pay under state and federal statutes. For a free consultation, call Josh at 817.908.9861 or 432.242.7118 or email him by clicking this link.
This article is written for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Use and access to this article or any other link on this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.