DATE: August 25, 2000         NO: 01-09
CONTACT: Randy Carr  Phone:(907) 269-4914 
Department of Labor and Workforce Development
News Release
Laws Increase Maximum Claim Size, Change Timeline for Final Paycheck

The Alaska Legislature has amended statutes addressing the maximum size of a claim for wages that may be accepted by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development's wage and hour administration.  

Formerly, the wage and hour section could not accept a claim for wages that exceeded $7,500.  Private attorneys generally were not interested in a claim unless it exceeded $20,000.  Those individuals with claims between $7,500 and $20,000 were left with few options.  The amendment allows the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to accept assignment of a claim up to $20,000 exclusive of costs, interest, and attorney fees and to file actions in small claims court if necessary to effectuate enforcement.

"This is a change that has been needed for some time," Labor Commissioner Ed Flanagan said.  "This expands the safety net provided by the department to workers who have provided a service to their employers and for some reason are not getting paid."

Besides raising the department's jurisdictional limit, the law changes the timeline for payment of the final check to a worker who voluntarily terminates employment from three working days to the next regular pay day.  An employer found liable for failing to pay within the deadlines shall be required to pay a waiting time penalty.  

It also clarifies that in private lawsuits where an employee is awarded liquidated damages for unpaid overtime, they are not entitled to waiting time penalties for the employer's failure to pay the unpaid overtime in the time period required by statute.

These statutory changes became effective August 9, 2000. 


Return to Index