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Minimum wage workers in the state of Alaska have not seen an increase in the minumum wage since 2010. However, in 2015, Alaska is one of 21 states that will be raising their minimum wage. From 1991, when the minimum wage was only $4.75 per hour, it has been raised periodically until 2010, where it has remained at the rate of $7.75 for the past four years.
In 2015, the minimum wage for Alaska employees will be increased to $8.75, and then on Jan. 1, 2016, another increase will take place raising it to $9.75 per hour. It is expected to continue in incremental increases each year. While most people would expect the first increase to begin on Jan. 1, 2015, it does not go into effect until Feb. 24, 2015. The reason: The bill that was supposed to be voted on during the August primary elections missed inclusion on the ballot due to Alaska's Legislative session exceeding its 90-day limit. Because it is a citizen's initiative, according to Alaska's constitution, it could not appear on the statewide ballot until the Legislative session had been adjourned for 120 days.
This raise will affect over 16,000 employees in the state of Alaska. Others will also be affected indirectly by the new wage measurements. In total, 48,000 Alaskans are expected to experience some kind of affect by the increase.
According to the Alaska Division of Labor Standards and Safety, most employees are eligible for the standard minimum wage, with the following exceptions:
Employers who are not under the exclusions above are required to follow the state's minimum wage standards by paying the minimum per hour or more to each employee, whether they are a part-time or full-time employee. The federal minimum wage amount is decided by a government committee, and is based on the current economy and cost of living. Individual state governments may impose a different minimum wage per state.
Overtime pay laws are not affected by the new minimum wage changes. They remain the same. Any employee who works more than 40 hours in one week is to be paid at least one and one-half their regular rate of pay. Per the Federal Labor and Standards Act, who establishes wage and pay standards, there are some industries or types of jobs that are excluded from the FSLA standards, but in general, the rules and policies apply to upwards of 130 million employees in the United States.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified wage and hour lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local wage and hour attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.