Alaska Leave Laws

April 11th 2024

The ability to take a leave of absence enables employees to attend to personal and civic responsibilities. This is vital to ensure the wellbeing and welfare of workers. Therefore, it is important for individuals to understand their leave entitlements.

This article explores the leave laws in Alaska, delving into the categories and types of leave available.

In Alaska there are mandatory and non-mandatory types of leave, each with their own requirements. There may be different rules for employees working in the public or private sector.

This Article Covers

Alaska Required Leave
Alaska Non-Required Leave

Alaska Required Leave

Employers in Alaska are obligated to provide a range of job-protected leaves for employees, under state and federal laws. The types of mandatory leave in Alaska include:

1. Family and Medical Leave

  • Eligibility: Alaska uses both the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Alaska Family Leave Act (AFLA). Employees who have worked for a company for at least one year and 1,250 hours are eligible for leave under the FMLA. The FMLA is applicable to state agencies and employers with at least 50 employees. The AFLA is available to public employees who have been employed by a covered employer for at least 35 hours a week for 6 months, or for at least 17.5 hours a week for 12 months.
  • Duration: The AFLA provides up to 18 weeks of leave in a 24-month period for a serious medical condition or up to 18 weeks in a 12-month period for pregnancy, childbirth or adoption. The FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of leave per 12-month period.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: Typically used for various reasons such as the birth of a child, adoption or foster care, or in situations where the employee or someone in their immediate family has a serious health condition.

2. Jury Duty Leave

  • Eligibility: All employees summoned for jury service must be permitted time off to attend their duty. It is forbidden for employees to face any negative impacts for attendance.
  • Duration: The duration of the jury service.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: When summoned to take part in jury service.
  • Pay: Private employers are not obligated to pay employees for taking this time off, although they may choose to do so if they have policies in place allowing for it. Public employers are required to provide paid leave to full-time employees, although the payment from the court for jury duty is deducted from the individual’s wages.

3. Voting Time Leave

  • Eligibility: Any employee who qualifies to vote and does not have enough time outside of working hours must be provided paid time off. However, employees are not entitled to leave if there are at least two hours between their shift and available polling hours.
  • Duration: Sufficient time to vote.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To vote in an official election.

4. Witness Leave

  • Eligibility: Employers are obligated to grant leave to employees required to serve as a witness in a court case.
  • Duration: The duration of the witness duties.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To serve as a witness in court.
  • Pay: Private employers are not obligated to pay employees; however, public-sector employers must grant paid leave to full-time employees. Payment from the court for fulfilling jury duty is deducted from the individual’s wages.

5. Military Leave

  • Eligibility: Employees who are members of the Alaska State Defense Force, Alaska Naval Militia, or Alaska National Guard are eligible for military leave.
  • Duration: Up to 16.5 days in a 12-month period.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: Employees called to military training, exercises or rescue missions.

Alaska Non-Required Leave

In Alaska, certain types of leave are not mandatory, unless stated in the employment contract or company policies. Employers establish their own company policies regarding leave, and despite the lack of legal requirements, many chose to offer leave benefits. Non-required categories of leave include:

1. Sick Leave

In Alaska, sick leave is not mandated at the state level.

2. Bereavement Leave

Bereavement leave is not mandated by law, so employers are not legally obligated to provide it.

3. Vacation Time

It is not mandatory for employers to offer their employees leave for vacation according to the law.

4. Holiday Leave

Employers have no legal obligation to provide paid time off for holidays to their employees.

The official holidays observed in Alaska can be found in the table below:

Holiday Date
New Year’s Day 1 January
Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Day Third Monday in January
Presidents’ Day Third Monday in February
Seward’s Day Last Monday in March
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day 4 July
Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Alaska Day 18 October
Veterans Day 11 November
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Day after Thanksgiving Fourth Friday in November
Christmas Day 25 December

If you want to know more about the entitlements of employees in Alaska, you can read our guides on your rights as a salaried employee in Alaska, and your rights as an hourly employee in Alaska. You can also learn more about Alaska Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.