Alaska Communications Wage and Hour Class Action

Case name: Laura Lee Peterson, et al. v. Alaska Communications Systems Group, Inc., et al.
Case type: Wage & Hour
Filed in: [U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska]
Docket: [Case No.: 3:12-CV-00090]

Case Summary

On April 30, 2012, Sanford Heisler Sharp filed a class action wage and hour lawsuit against Alaska Communications Systems Group, Inc., and Alaska Communications Systems Holdings, Inc., (“ACS”) on behalf of plaintiff Laura Lee Peterson and a class of ACS sales employees.

The lawsuit alleged 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 work week. The lawsuit sought 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 of 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 that is currently titled “Client Account Manager I, II, or III” (formerly known as “Account Executive” or, in the case of the Carrier/Federal group, “Senior Manager” or “Sr. Cam”), 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.

On March 15, 2022, the Court granted final approval of the settlement agreement.

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