DATE:  August 2,  2001     NO: 01-74

CONTACT: Randy Carr, Chief Labor Standards PHONE: (907) 269-4914  

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

News Release

COURTS AWARD OVER $40,000 ON WAGE CLAIMS
Claims Brought Against Grizzly Inn, LLC., Bryant’s Hunting Adventures

The Anchorage and Naknek Small Claims Courts awarded judgments totaling over $40,000 on wage claims on behalf of workers whose employers refused to pay their wages, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development announced today.

The Anchorage District Court (Small Claims) awarded judgments totaling $25,582.18 to the Labor Department on behalf of two employees. Judgments were awarded on July 25, 2001, and include $7,410.32 in unpaid wages and $16,560 in penalties for failure to pay all wages due within three working days from the date of termination as required by AS 23.05.140(b). Labor filed the action when the employer, Grizzly Inn, LLC. refused to pay the workers’ wages. 

On July 31, 2001, the Naknek District Court (Small Claims) awarded judgments totaling $14,900 to the Labor Department on behalf of two workers whose employer, Bryant’s Hunting Adventures, refused wages they had earned. 

The judgments include $9,960 in unpaid wages and $4,940 in penalties for failure to pay all wages due within three working days from the date of termination as required by AS 23.05.140(b). 

"These judgments should serve as a significant warning to employers who fail to pay final wages to employees in a timely fashion," Labor Commissioner Ed Flanagan said. 

According to James Carr, the Chief of Labor Standards, the Naknek cases were filed prior to a statutory change effective August 9, 2000. The law now requires the court to impose the maximum penalty in an action brought by the department. 

"The Anchorage cases were filed after the new law took effect and the court applied the requirement to impose the maximum penalty," Carr explained. 

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