Employment Law in Knik-Fairview, AK

Employment lawsuits are a complicated topic that can also fuel hot-topic debates. A recent example is an accusation against Alaska Airlines in September 2022. According to a state agency, their strict dress code for genders violated the rights of a non-binary employee.

No matter your complaint, you need an attorney to fight for you. Even small organizations in Knik-Fairview can have considerably more resources than their employees. Use this opportunity to learn how they can use state or federal law to stand up to an organization that wronged you.

What Is Employment Law?

Employment law deals with the concerns about the responsibilities, obligations, and rights of this relationship. Attorneys work with employees and employers but usually focus on one over the other. Regardless of who they represent, they must organize a legally sound defense.

Understanding Employment Law Labor Rights in Knik-Fairview, Alaska

Employees have many rights that employers should not violate. When employers overstep their bounds, workers have ways to file a complaint.

States have different labor legislation, and some include protections for independent contractors. The most common topics in the United States are in the sections below.

Wage and Hour Laws

Wage and hour laws prevent employees from working for low wages or extended hours without extra pay. They establish the minimum wage and the requirements for when to pay overtime. However, these rules may not apply to sole proprietors or certain types of employees.

Alaska has distinctive wage and hour laws. But some laws apply to everyone in the United States. For example, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 currently. But most states set an amount above this rate.

The Fair Labor Standards Act sets the maximum number of hours non-exempt employees can work at 40 hours per week. Employers have an obligation to pay more for any overtime they work. Moreover, they must honor holiday or weekend pay if it is in their employee handbook.

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development plays a role in enforcing these rules. As of January 2021, the minimum wage is $10.34 per hour. But there are exemptions for certain enterprises, like restaurants. Furthermore, employers in Knik-Fairview must pay at least time and a half once you are over 40 hours a week.

Workers’ Compensation

Suffering an injury at work in Knik-Fairview, AK can entitle you to workers’ compensation. This benefit includes payments for your lost wages and medical bills as long as the doctor deems it necessary.

Having eligibility for workers’ compensation means meeting these requirements:

  • Being an employee and not a contractor
  • Filing your claim before the deadline
  • Working for an employer with workers’ comp insurance
  • Providing proof that your illness or injury was work-related

There are some exceptions to the requirements listed above for workers’ compensation. But if your employer denies your benefits, contacting a Knik-Fairview attorney can help assert your rights.

Termination Rights under Knik-Fairview, Alaska Employment Law

Nearly all states in the U.S. have at-will employment. This legal doctrine gives employers the right to terminate you without notice or giving cause. But there are limitations to how much power this legislation gives them. For instance, they could be liable for wrongful termination.

A few of the reasons losing your job can count as wrongful termination as, even as an at-will employee, are:

  • Discrimination
  • Retaliation
  • Implied or written contract violations
  • Breaches of good faith
  • Whistleblower status

It is also worth mentioning that many states have enacted “right-to-work” laws. Nonetheless, the Alaska AFL-CIO reports no such law exists at this time. As a result, Knik-Fairview employees may have to join a union as part of their employment.

If you have reason to believe you went through a wrongful termination, contact a Knik-Fairview, AK employment law attorney. There is an extremely limited window of time for you to file a claim with the EEOC.

Unemployment Benefits

Under the right circumstances, you can file for unemployment benefits after losing your job. If you receive approval, you will receive checks or direct payments by filing weekly claims. A few of the reasons the state could deny your request are:

  • Losing your job for misconduct
  • Quitting your job
  • Not having enough hours worked in the last year

You can appeal the rejection of your application. But at this point, it is worth talking to a Knik-Fairview attorney to improve your chances.

Paid and Unpaid Time Off

Some states mandate providing paid time off and paid medical or family leave. Often, these benefits combine with your paid time off (PTO). While the laws vary across the country, PTO usually accrues during the year with the amount your employer offers.

Some state legislatures have also passed laws that make employers pay for unused PTO. If they do not follow through with this regulation, you can file a civil complaint against them.

The State of Alaska does not place many mandates on employers in Knik-Fairview for PTO. For instance, they do not have to provide holiday pay under state law. They may offer this benefit or other advantages, but they do not have to.

Child Labor Laws

Child labor regulations are among the most strict employment legislation that exists. States establish expectations for how many hours they can work during the school year or the summer break. Furthermore, they can set limitations on how many days in a row they can work and how late you can schedule them.

Alaska Administrative Code governs these considerations for companies in Knik-Fairview. There are dozens of sections that cover a range of regulations. One of the most crucial ones to follow involves work permits. Any minor under 17 years of age needs this paperwork to become an employee. Furthermore, they cannot work in these types of occupations:

  • Construction
  • Maintenance or repair
  • Manufacturing, mining, or processing
  • Warehousing and storage
  • Public messenger services

Knik-Fairview, Alaska Employment Anti Discrimination Laws

Several federal laws protect employees from employment discrimination. A few of the most crucial ones and brief descriptions of what they accomplish are:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act – prohibits discrimination against employees or applicants with disabilities.
  • Equal Pay Act: prohibits employers from paying men and women differently for the same work responsibilities
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act – prohibits discriminating against a woman for giving birth, getting pregnant, or related conditions.
  • Age Discrimination Act – prohibits discriminating against someone based on their age.
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act – prohibits discrimination against applicants or employees due to their sex, race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Sexual Harassment

Employees have rights that allow them to pursue litigation against someone who sexually harasses them in the workplace. These laws apply to your employer, coworkers, or clients. You also have legal protections for retaliation, like losing your job for reporting a manager to higher-ups.

Sexual harassment in Knik-Fairview is a crime under Alaska law. A first-degree offense involves physical contact and is a class A misdemeanor. Meanwhile, a second-degree charge focuses more on verbal or electronic harassment and is a class B misdemeanor.

Work With an Experienced Employment Lawyer in Knik-Fairview,  Alaska

If you have employment law concerns, or you’re currently preparing for a case in Knik-Fairview, AK then working with an experienced attorney can help. The hard part is finding the right one. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Alaska state lines.

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