Frequently Asked Questions about Alaska Labor Laws for Breaks
What are the Alaska labor laws for breaks?
There are a few Alaska labor laws for breaks, but on the whole they are perhaps less stringent than you might expect. The strongest one, and the only part of Alaska labor laws for breaks that actually guarantees breaks, only affects minors aged 14 to 17. These minors are required by law to have one thirty minute break for every five consecutive hours of work. However, once an employee turns 18, their employer is no longer obligated to proved them with a break.
Of course, most employers do inevitably provide their works with meal breaks. Taking such action is usually in an employer’s own benefit. If meal breaks are a desired commodity from workers, then providing one is an added perk that will attract a better quality of workers and therefore a better quality of work. Similarly, better quality work can result from a mandatory meal break since satisfied workers are usually able to better concentrate than those who are distracted by their stomach’s rumblings.
At the same time, there could be some distinct problems with Alaska labor laws for breaks if they made meal breaks mandatory for everyone. They’d do away with an individual’s freedom to skip lunch, if they so choose, in order to leave work earlier and instead spend their meals with their loved ones. The only people who lose out with the current system are those whose employers refuse them a meal break, despite the added benefits that a meal break could offer their business.
Are there any other Alaska labor laws for breaks?
Yes, there is one other section of Alaska labor laws for breaks, which states that in the event of a short break, one that is twenty minutes or less, the employer must compensate their employee for their time. However, these short breaks are entirely optional, as there is no law mandating breaks of any kind for employees 18 and over.
Does an employer have to compensate their employee for a meal break?
No, an employer does not have to compensate their employees for meal breaks.
What about breaks for nursing mothers?
While it isn’t a part of the Alaska labor laws for breaks since it is federal, there is a mandate for employers to provide nursing mothers with breaks which is part of the recent healthcare reforms that were passed in 2010. The law requires an employer to provide a break for a nursing mother every four hours, and the breaks may last for up to thirty minutes. The employer must also provide a private space for the mother to nurse. While this space cannot be merely a bathroom, it can be a break room or an office that has been repurposed for the mother’s use and where her privacy is assured.
Exceptions to the nursing rule are businesses that have fewer than fifty employees and children that are more than one year-old.