Alaska Communications Wage and Hour Class Action

Case Type: Wage & Hour

Company: Alaska Communications

Sanford Heisler Sharp represents a class of current and former sales employees in a wage and hour lawsuit against Alaska Communications Systems Group, Inc. and Alaska Communications Systems Holdings, Inc. (“ACS”). The case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska before Judge Timothy M. Burgess.

The lawsuit alleges that ACS misclassified class members as exempt from the overtime pay requirements of the Alaska Wage and Hour Act (“AWHA”) and Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), and thus unlawfully failed to pay them overtime for working more  than 40 hours in a workweek. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of former ACS sales employee Laura Lee Peterson and similarly situated employees, and it seeks to recover damages, including unpaid overtime wages.

The case began after Ms. Peterson filed a charge in the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. On November 1, 2011, the agency notified ACS that it had misclassified Ms. Peterson as an exempt employee and owed her unpaid overtime compensation. Ms. Peterson subsequently filed a lawsuit against ACS on behalf herself and similar sales employees, alleging both federal and Alaska state overtime claims.

In December 2014, the Court certified an FLSA collective action. Four years later, on August 28, 2018, the Court certified a Rule 23 class, composed of current and former full-time exempt employees who worked for ACS in the job position which is currently titled “Client Account Manager (I, II, or III)” or “Sr. CAM” (formerly known as “Account Executive” or, in the case of the Carrier/Federal group, “Senior Manager”) (“Class Member position”), in the ACS Anchorage office at any point between April 30, 2010 and March 14, 2019.

On August 20, 2021, the Parties entered into a settlement agreement to resolve the AWHA and FLSA claims, and on September 28, 2021, the Court granted preliminary approval. Plaintiffs will be moving for final approval of the settlement after notice is distributed to class members.