This post will guide you through employee leave laws for businesses and workers located in the state of Alaska.
Follow this guide to understand employers’ obligations for vacation time, paid time off (PTO), sick leave, parental leave, bereavement and more, along with state holidays observed in Alaska.
This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.
There are no federal or state laws in the United States requiring employees to be given paid or unpaid vacation time.
It’s up to Alaskan employers’ discretion whether or not to offer paid time off to employees. If they choose to do so, and it’s stated in an employee’s contract or company policy, the employer must abide by what is stated in this contract.
Alaska state law does not mention Use It or Lose It policies, meaning Alaskan employers are free to enforce a Use It or Lose It vacation policy.
Use It or Lose It leave policies mean that any leave not used at the end of the year is forfeited, and not carried over to the following year. Learn more about Use It or Lose It policies here.
Alaska does not require unused PTO to be paid out upon termination of employment (e.g. when an employee quits, is fired or is laid off).
Alaska state law does not require employers to provide paid sick leave to employees.
Besides any state laws or provisions written into employment contracts, employers in Alaska must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which entitles eligible employees the right to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for serious health conditions, or to care for spouses, children or parents with a serious health condition.
|January 1||New Year’s Day|
|3rd Monday in January||Martin Luther King, Jr & Robert E. Lee’s Birthday|
|3rd Monday in February||George Washington & Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday|
|Last Monday in March||Seward’s Day|
|Last Monday in May||National Memorial Day|
|July 4||Independence Day|
|1st Monday in September||Labor Day|
|October 18||Alaska Day|
|November 11||Veterans Day|
|4th Thursday in November||Thanksgiving|
|December 25||Christmas Day|
There is no requirement for Alaskan employers to provide paid or unpaid time off for state holidays, and there is no requirement for employees working on state holidays to receive anything above their usual rate of pay.
There is no state law requiring private employers in Alaska to provide paid or unpaid maternity leave. Public sector employees are covered by the Alaska Family Leave Act, which allows eligible female employees a job-protected absence of up to 18 weeks in a one year period for pregnancy, childbirth, or adoption.
Eligible employees under the FMLA are however entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to care for their newborn child, or to care for a newly adopted or fostered child.
There is no state law covering paternity leave in Alaska, though the FMLA applies the same to new fathers, providing up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave.
There is no state law covering bereavement leave in Alaska. It’s up to employers’ discretion whether or not to provide paid (or unpaid) bereavement leave for employees.
Federal Law (the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)) applies in Alaska, which states that military service members receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service, and upon returning, must be reinstated to the same position (or an equivalent position) as they had before their leave.
In addition, Alaska law allows employees in the National Guard, Naval Militia, and State Defense Force unlimited unpaid leave, and the right to be reinstated at an equal or similar position upon completion of their leave.
Alaska state laws require employees to receive time off to vote, unless there are two hours between the time polls open and the beginning of the employee’s shift.
Alaska does not require employers to pay employees for time spent serving on a jury or complying with a jury summons. However, employers cannot discharge, threaten, coerce, or penalize employees for serving on a jury or complying with a jury summons.
Anything not covered in Alaska state leave laws is up to the discretion of the employer, such as whether or not to provide paid sick leave or PTO, or whether PTO rolls over from year to year.
However, if any benefits are laid out in an employee’s contract or company policy, employers must comply with what has been agreed in that document.
For example, if an employee’s contract states that they are to receive 12 days of PTO each year, the employer is legally required to provide this, even though paid time off is not required by state law.