Minimum Wage in Alaska

Minimum Wage in Alaska

Minimum Wage in Alaska

Frequently Asked Questions about Minimum Wage in Alaska

What is the minimum wage in Alaska?

As of 2012, the minimum wage in Alaska is $7.75. This is the minimum amount that an employer must legally pay their workers. However, there are multiple exceptions to the minimum wage in Alaska, so while we often think of this amount as strict barrier, it’s actually much more permeable that that, more of a guideline than a hardline.

The minimum wage in Alaska is currently higher than the national average. The difference, though, is slight, as the federal minimum wage is $7.25. 

What is the minimum wage in Alaska for tipped employees?

Along with its elevated minimum wage, Alaska can stake a claim to progressive wage laws given the fact that it does not allow for what is called “tip credits.” In effect, these credits mean a lowered minimum wage for tipped employees. On the federal level, an employer only has to pay a tipped worker $2.13 per hour because of “tip credits,” with the expectation that the employee will make up the remaining money through their tips. In Alaska, this is not the case, though it has been occasionally proposed.

Are there any exceptions to the minimum wage law?

Yes, there are many occupations for which employers don’t have to pay their employees at a rate equal to the minimum wage in Alaska. These exceptions include:

• Agriculture workers;

• Fishermen or individuals in the fishing industry;

• Private domestic servants;

• Anyone working for the state or local government;

• Volunteers;

• Newspaper deliverers;

• Watchmen or caretakers on property closed from public use for more than four months;

• A “bona fide” executive, which is to say a professional in an administrative capacity who may be well-paid in other ways, such as stock points;

An individual engaging in finding hard rock minerals;

• Anyone under 18 working less than thirty hours per week, though they must be paid the federal minimum wage;

• Anyone at a childcare facility, camp, or boarding school that requires on-sight, overnight living and which pays at least $10,000 per unmarried person not counting room and board;

• An independent cab driver who is compensated with customer service and payment including tips;

• Any registered guide who has been working in that capacity for sixty days or less.

Is the minimum wage in Alaska always above the federal standard?

Historically, the minimum wage in Alaska has been fifty cents above the federal minimum wage. The wage rose quite a bit back in 2002, when a Republican-led state congress rose the rate from $5.65, or fifty cents above the federal standard of $5.15, to $7.15. The change was done to kill a state ballot that would have tied the minimum wage in Alaska to rise with inflation. The rate did not change until 2011, when the federal government rose the minimum wage for the first time in a decade to a level that would have exceeded $7.15. The current minimum wage in Alaska is still the lowest on the west coast.





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