State Law > Alaska > Alaska Family and Medical Leave Law

Alaska Family and Medical Leave Law

 

Alaska family and medical leave laws are located in the following sections of the Alaska Statutes.

Title23, Chapter 10, Article 8

  • AS 23.10.500. Employment Benefits and Privileges For Health and Family Care.
  • AS 23.10.510. Employee Notice.
  • AS 23.10.550. Definitions.

Personal Leave for State Employees.
  • AS 39.20.200. Computation of Personal Leave - State Employment.
  • AS 39.20.225. Use of Personal Leave - State Employment.
  • AS 39.20.305. Family and Health Leave - State Employment.

AS 23.10.500. Employment Benefits and Privileges For Health and Family Care.

(a) An employer shall grant an employee whose health is affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition the same employment benefits and privileges that the employer grants to other employees with similar ability to work who are not so affected, including allowing the employee to take disability or sick leave or other accrued leave that the employer makes available to temporarily disabled employees.

(b) An employee is eligible to take family leave if the employee has been employed by the employer for at least 35 hours a week for at least six consecutive months or for at least 17 1/2 hours a week for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the leave. The leave may be unpaid leave. However, the employee may choose to substitute, or the employer may require the employee to substitute, accrued paid leave to which the employee is entitled. An employer shall permit an eligible employee to take family leave because of a serious health condition for a total of 18 workweeks during any 24-month period. An employer shall permit an eligible employee to take family leave because of pregnancy and childbirth or adoption for a total of 18 workweeks within a 12-month period; the right to take leave for this reason expires on the date one year after the birth or placement of the child. If the employee is entitled to a longer period of time under (a) of this section, then the longer period applies. An eligible employee is entitled to take family leave

(1) because of pregnancy and the birth of a child of the employee or the placement of a child, other than the employee's stepchild, with the employee for adoption; an employer may require that an employee using family leave under this paragraph take the leave in a single block of time;

(2) in order to care for the employee's child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition; in this paragraph, "child" includes the employee's biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, or legal ward; and

(3) because of the employee's own serious health condition.

(c) Notwithstanding (b) of this section, if a parent or child of two employees employed by the same employer has a serious health condition, the employer is not required to grant family leave to both employees simultaneously.

(d) During the time that an employee is on leave under this section, the employer shall maintain coverage under any group health plan at the level and under the conditions that coverage would have been provided if the employee had been employed continuously from the date the leave began to the date the employee returns from leave under (e) of this section. However, the employer may require that the employee pay all or part of the costs for maintaining health insurance coverage during a period of unpaid leave.

(e) Unless the employer's business circumstances have changed to make it impossible or unreasonable, when an employee returns from leave under this section, the employer shall restore the employee

(1) to the position of employment held by the employee when the leave began; or

(2) to a substantially similar position with substantially similar benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.

(f) This section does not apply to an employer's small employment facility if the total number of employees employed within 50 road miles of the small employment facility, including those employed at the facility, was fewer than 21 during the 20 consecutive workweeks in which the employer employed at least 21 employees at all business facilities.

AS 23.10.510. Employee Notice.

If the necessity for leave under AS 23.10.500 is foreseeable based on an expected birth or adoption or on planned medical treatment or supervision, the employee shall provide the employer with prior notice of the expected need for leave in a manner that is reasonable and practicable. If the necessity for leave under that section is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment or supervision, the employee shall also make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment or supervision so as not to disrupt unduly the operations of the employer, subject to the approval of the health care provider of the employee or the employee's child, spouse, or parent.

AS 23.10.520. Employee Transfer.

(a) A pregnant employee may request a transfer to a suitable position under this section. An employer may not fill the position with a person other than the requesting employee until the employer has offered the position to the employee and the employee has refused the offer. A position is suitable if

(1) it is an existing unfilled position in the same administrative division in which the employee is currently employed and is less strenuous or less hazardous than the employee's current position;

(2) transfer to the position is recommended by a licensed health care provider;

(3) the employee is qualified and immediately able to perform the duties of the position; and

(4) the transfer will not subject the employer to legal liability under a collective bargaining contract or employment contract.

(b) An employer shall compensate an employee who receives a transfer under this section at a rate at least equal to the lesser of the rate, as adjusted by changes to compensation that apply generally to the work force, at which

(1) the employee was compensated immediately before requesting the transfer; or

(2) the position into which the employee transfers is compensated.

AS 23.10.530. Application to Other Laws.

(a) The provisions of AS 23.10.500 - 23.10.550 do not affect any other provision of law relating to sex discrimination, pregnancy, or parenthood.

(b) The provisions of AS 23.10.500 - 23.10.550 are subject to collective bargaining. However, except as provided in (c) of this section, a collective bargaining contract that does not contain benefit provisions at least as beneficial to the employee as those provided by AS 23.10.500 - 23.10.550 shall be considered to contain the benefit provisions of those statutes.

(c) The commissioner of education and early development may approve a collective bargaining agreement entered into between a school district or a regional educational attendance area and a bargaining organization representing certificated employees that does not meet the leave requirements of AS 23.10.500 - 23.10.550, if the district or attendance area establishes to the satisfaction of the commissioner that a variance from the requirements of AS 23.10.500 - 23.10.550 is necessary to avoid a hardship on the school district based on the lack of qualified, available substitute teachers to replace teachers on leave under AS 23.10.500 - 23.10.550 or the lack of available housing for replacement teachers who do not live in the community.

AS 23.10.540. Investigation and Conciliation of Complaints.

(a) A person aggrieved by a denial of a right or privilege granted by AS 23.10.500 - 23.10.540 may file a complaint with the department.

(b) The department shall informally, promptly, and impartially investigate the matters set out in a filed complaint. If the investigator determines that the allegations are supported by substantial evidence, the investigator shall immediately try to eliminate the denial of rights or privileges by conference, conciliation, and persuasion.

AS 23.10.550. Definitions.
In AS 23.10.500 - 23.10.550,

(1) "child" means an individual who is

(A) under 18 years of age; or

(B) 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of mental or physical disability;

(2) "employer" means the state and a political subdivision of the state that employed at least 21 employees in the state for each working day during any period of 20 consecutive workweeks in the preceding two calendar years; "employer" does not include a regional Native housing authority created under AS 18.55.995 - 18.55.998;

(3) "health care provider" means a dentist licensed under AS 08.36, a physician licensed under AS 08.64, or a psychologist licensed under AS 08.86;

(4) "parent" means a biological or adoptive parent, a parent-in-law, or a stepparent;

(5) "serious health condition" means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves

(A) inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential health care facility; or

(B) continuing treatment or continuing supervision by a health care provider;

(6) "small employment facility" means a facility of an employer that did not employ 21 or more employees during any period of 20 consecutive workweeks in the preceding two calendar years;

(7) "state" includes the University of Alaska, the Alaska Railroad, and the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government including public and quasi-public corporations and authorities established by law.

AS 39.20.200. Computation of Personal Leave.

(a) Officers and employees of the state are entitled to personal leave with pay that accrues as follows:

(1) two days for each full monthly pay period in the case of officers and employees with less than two years of service;

(2) two and one-quarter days for each full monthly pay period in the case of officers and employees with two but less than five years of service;

(3) two and one-half days for each full monthly pay period in the case of officers and employees with five but less than 10 years of service;

(4) three days for each full monthly pay period in the case of officers and employees with 10 years or more service.

(b) Personal leave accrued by an officer or employee during each pay period shall be converted monthly to a cash value by multiplying the hours accrued during the pay periods in that month by the officer's or employee's annualized hourly rate of pay for the pay period. The resulting amount shall be added to the cash value amounts calculated for previous pay periods. The total of all of the cash values is the cash value of the officer's or employee's personal leave balance.

AS 39.20.210. Determining Years of Service.

In determining years of service for the purpose of computing personal leave, all service with the Territory and State of Alaska is included. A change in the rate of accrual of personal leave by an officer or employee takes effect upon the beginning of the monthly pay period following the monthly pay period in which the officer or employee completes the prescribed period of service.

AS 39.20.220. Requirement That Employment Be Continuous.

Notwithstanding AS 39.20.200 , an officer or employee is entitled to personal leave only after having been employed currently for a continuous period of 30 days under one or more appointments without break in service. When an officer or employee completes a period of continuous employment of 30 days, an amount of personal leave is credited to the officer or employee equal to the amount which, but for this section, would have accrued under AS 39.20.200 during the period.

AS 39.20.225. Use of Personal Leave.

(a) An officer or employee may take personal leave at any time business permits upon permission by the head of the department or agency for which the officer or employee works.

(b) An officer or employee may take personal leave for medical reasons, regardless of whether business permits, upon permission by the head of the department or agency for which the officer or employee works. A department or agency head shall grant personal leave for medical reasons if the department or agency head is satisfied that the officer or employee is absent for medical reasons. The taking of personal leave for medical reasons shall be reduced by the amount of wage continuation payments made under AS 23.30 (Alaska Workers' Compensation Act). The following constitute "medical reasons" and are subject to the conditions noted:

(1) medical disability of an officer or employee is a medical reason for taking personal leave. A department or agency head may require a doctor's certificate showing the disability if the absence exceeds three consecutive working days;

(2) medical disability of a member of an officer's or employee's immediate family is a medical reason for taking personal leave if the disability is such that the attendance of the officer or employee is required. A department or agency head may require a doctor's certificate showing the disability if the absence exceeds three consecutive working days;

(3) a medical condition of an officer or employee that makes presence at work a danger to the health of fellow employees is a medical reason for taking personal leave. A department or agency head may require a doctor's certificate showing the condition if the absence exceeds three consecutive working days;

(4) pregnancy and childbirth or the placement of a child, other than the employee's stepchild, with the employee for adoption is a medical reason for an officer or employee to take personal leave;

(5) death of a member of an officer's or employee's immediate family is a medical reason for taking personal leave. No more than five days of personal leave may be taken for this purpose.

(c) Each officer and employee shall, during each 12-month period, take at least five days of personal leave. If the officer or employee does not take at least five days of personal leave during a 12-month period, the difference between five days and the amount of personal leave taken shall be canceled without pay unless the department or agency head certifies in writing that the officer or employee was denied the opportunity to take five days of personal leave during the 12-month period.

AS 39.20.305. Family and Health Leave.

(a) An officer or employee of the state who is otherwise qualified to take leave of absence may take family leave because of a serious health condition for a total of 18 workweeks during any 24-month period. An otherwise qualified officer or employee may take family leave because of pregnancy and childbirth or adoption for a total of 18 workweeks within a 12-month period; the right to take leave for this reason expires on the date one year after the birth or placement of the child. An officer or employee taking leave under this section shall use accrued paid leave until the officer or employee has only five days of paid leave remaining. The officer or employee may choose whether to retain a balance of five days of paid leave and take the remaining leave as unpaid leave or whether to exhaust the paid leave balance. After reducing accrued paid leave as required by this subsection, the officer or employee may take leave without pay for the balance of the family leave. If the employee is entitled to a longer period of time under AS 23.10.500 , then the longer period applies. An eligible employee is entitled to take family leave

(1) because of pregnancy and the birth of a child of the employee or the placement of a child, other than the employee's stepchild, with the employee for adoption; the department or agency may require that an employee using family leave under this paragraph take the leave in a single block of time;

(2) in order to care for the employee's child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition; in this paragraph, "child" includes the employee's biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, or legal ward; and

(3) because of the employee's own serious health condition.

(b) If the necessity for family leave under (a) of this section is foreseeable based on an expected birth or adoption or on planned medical treatment or supervision, the employee shall provide the employee's department or agency head with prior notice of the expected need for leave in a manner that is reasonable and practicable. If the necessity for leave under this section is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment or supervision, the employee shall also make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment or supervision so as not to disrupt unduly the operations of the state department or agency, subject to the approval of the health care provider of the employee or the employee's child, spouse, or parent.

(c) Notwithstanding (a) of this section, if a parent or child of two employees employed by the state has a serious health condition, the state is not required to grant family leave to both employees simultaneously.

(d) In this section, "child," "health care provider," "parent," and "serious health condition" have the meanings given in AS 23.10.550 .

AS 39.20.310. Exceptions.
AS 39.20.200 - 39.20.330 do not apply to

(1) members of the state legislature, the governor, the lieutenant governor, and justices and judges of the supreme and superior courts and of the court of appeals, but nothing in AS 39.20.200 - 39.20.330 may be construed to diminish the salaries fixed by law for these officers by reason of absence from duty on account of illness or otherwise;

(2) magistrates serving the state on less than a full-time basis;

(3) officers, members of the teaching staff, and employees of the University of Alaska;

(4) [Repealed by Sec. 76 ch 59 SLA 1982].

(5) persons employed in a professional capacity to make a temporary and special inquiry, study, or examination as authorized by the governor, the legislature, or a legislative committee;

(6) members of boards, commissions, and authorities who are not otherwise employed by the state;

(7) temporary employees hired for periods of less than 12 consecutive months;

(8) persons employed by the division of marine transportation as masters and members of the crews operating the state ferry system who are covered by collective bargaining agreements as provided in AS 23.40.040, except as expressly provided by law;

(9) persons employed by the state who are covered by collective bargaining agreements as provided in AS 23.40.210 , except as expressly provided by law.

AS 39.20.320. Adoption of Regulations.

The director of the division of personnel in the Department of Administration shall prepare and submit regulations necessary to carry out the intent of AS 39.20.200 - 39.20.330. These regulations must include provisions for crediting and, if necessary, converting accrued leave when an officer or employee transfers, without break in service, between a department or agency of the state government where the officer or employee is subject to AS 39.20.200 - 39.20.330 and a department or agency of the state government where the officer or employee is not subject to AS 39.20.200 - 39.20.330. These regulations shall be submitted to the commissioner of administration. The commissioner of administration shall review the regulations and submit them to the personnel board. The regulations, or any part of the regulations, have the force and effect of law 30 days after they are submitted to the personnel board if not disapproved by the personnel board. Amendments to the regulations shall be prepared and submitted in the same manner, and have the force and effect of law 30 days after they are submitted to the personnel board, if not disapproved by the personnel board. The regulations adopted under AS 39.20.200 - 39.20.330 relate to the internal management of state agencies and their adoption is not subject to the provisions of AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act).

AS 39.20.330. Departments to Keep Leave Records.

Each department, office, institution, or agency of the state government shall keep for its files a complete leave record, covering each of its officers and employees, on forms prepared and supplied by the Department of Administration. These records are subject to annual audit and approval by the director of personnel of the Department of Administration.

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Related Articles

12/05/2008 Alaska Family and Medical Leave Law - 23.10.500. Employment Benefits and Privileges for Health and Family Care
12/05/2008 Alaska Family and Medical Leave Law - 23.10.510. Employee to Provide Notice of Leave to Employer
12/05/2008 Alaska Family and Medical Leave Law - 23.10.520. Employee Transfer to Another Position with Employer
12/05/2008 Alaska Family and Medical Leave Law 23.10.530 and 23.10.540. Application to Other Laws; Investigation and Conciliation of Complaints
12/05/2008 Alaska Family and Medical Leave Law - 39.20.200 to 39.20.225. State Employees: Computation of Personal Leave; Determining Years of Service; Requirement that Employment Be Continuous; Use of Personal Leave
12/05/2008 Alaska Family and Medical Leave Law - 39.20.305. Staet Employees: Family and Health Leave
12/05/2008 Alaska Family and Medical Leave Law - 39.20.310. State Employees: Exceptions to Leave Laws
12/05/2008 Alaska Family and Medical Leave Law - 39.20.320 and 39.20.330. Adoption of Regulations; Departments to Keep Leave Records
 

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