Category: Alaska

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What Does Alaska’s and Oregon’s Legalization of Marijuana Change for Employers? Answer: Probably Not Much.

In this week’s mid-term election on November 4, Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia became the latest jurisdictions to pass referendums decriminalizing the recreational possession and use of small amounts of marijuana.  They join Colorado and Washington, which took this step in 2012.  Oregon’s law becomes effective in July 2015; Alaska’s probably in February 2015. … Continue Reading

Guidance on Terminations in Alaska

  Two recent opinions from the Alaska Supreme Court offer helpful guidance to employers regarding termination processes.   In Barickman v. State, an employer suspected an employee of theft.  When confronted, the employee signed a letter of termination and then wrote a letter stating that he was resigning to avoid a “black mark on his … Continue Reading

Why Should Employers be Fair?

Martha walks into your office and says she wants to fire her assistant, Roy, because he keeps sending emails with typos and it is embarrassing. Martha says, “We are at-will and I want him gone by the end of the day.”  Like most others, Alaska is an “employment-at-will” state, which means that the employee and employer … Continue Reading

Lawmakers Aim to Take the “Spice” out of Synthetic Drug Use.

Meghan M. Kelly also contributed to this post. Alaska has joined the growing list of states that have outlawed the sale or possession of “synthetic cannabinoids.” These so-called designer drugs are sold under trade names like “Spice” and “K2”, and are essentially chemicals sprayed on dried weeds then rolled and smoked like marijuana.  Alaska’s new law, … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Holds Shareholder Hire Preference Not Facially Discriminatory

Meghan M. Kelly also contributed to this post. In an unpublished opinion in Conitz v. Teck Alaska Inc. the Ninth Circuit held that an Alaska Native corporation’s shareholder employment preference was not facially discriminatory because it was based on shareholder status, not racial status.   Teck employee Gregg Conitz works at the Red Dog Mine, … Continue Reading

Alaska: 2011 Legislative Session Preview

  The 27th Session of the Alaska Legislature convened in January, and several labor and employment-related bills were introduced. We’ve highlighted some of the more interesting bills below.   Hot Topics: “Alaska’s Oil, Alaska’s Jobs” — HB 82 and SB 71 propose to authorize a rebate of the production tax on oil and gas, based … Continue Reading
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