Legislature(1999 - 2000)
04/13/1999 01:40 PM L&C
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 123-MINIMUM WAGE & OVERTIME EXEMPTIONS CHAIRMAN MACKIE announced HB 123 to be up for consideration. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG explained that the National Ski Patrol requested an exemption from Alaska's Wage and Hour Act because in many instances they work under the supervision of a profit making organization; for example, Alyeska Ski Resort which employs professional as well as volunteer patrollers and the supervisors are paid. This bill only speaks to the volunteers and exempts them from the Wage and Hour Act. He said that organized labor does not oppose this legislation and are quite sympathetic. SENATOR KELLY asked what the status was on the volunteers being covered by Workmen's Compensation. MR. DWIGHT PERKINS, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Labor, testified that they are covered under the Worker's Compensation Act. SENATOR KELLY asked him to verify that. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG mentioned that Eaglecrest Ski resort is under municipal ownership. MR. PERKINS said the Department supported this bill. He explained there are several nonprofits who have volunteers who are subject to Wage and Hour and overtime laws if it wasn't changed. The Department feels that certain organizations that are strictly volunteer like the Iditarod Groups should have the ability to volunteer their time and services without being paid compensation. SENATOR LEMAN asked for an example in Alaska of an activity that would not be a nonprofit activity of a nonprofit organization. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said the Salvation Army Thrift Shop paying its workers was one example. MR. PERKINS added that there were a few organizations that are selling T-shirts or trinkets as their for-profit side that may have very different rules affecting them. Those people are being paid and have to be compensated with minimum wage and overtime while working in the store. The volunteers who wouldn't be paid are ones working events like the Iditarod volunteers along the course. SENATOR LEMAN said he wasn't sure the language "engaged in nonprofit activities" was necessary. CHAIRMAN MACKIE tried to clarify that in the case of the Salvation Army, working in their Thrift shop is a forprofit activity, but for a nonprofit organization. SENATOR LEMAN wanted to know where Alaskan corporate laws separate profit and nonprofit activities of a nonprofit organization. MR. PERKINS explained if Senator Leman is the manager of the Salvation Army Thrift Shop and he (Mr. Perkins) wants to work there, and Senator Leman controls the days and hours he works there, then there is an employer/employee relationship. Under those guidelines, he would be eligible to be compensated for minimum wage and overtime. The definition of volunteer is coming and going as a volunteer. SENATOR LEMAN said his problem is with the phrase "nonprofit" in the first line and the last addition to the same paragraph. He asked if we have nonprofit organizations that have profit making activities that are allowed under the law. He wanted to know what activities of nonprofit organizations exist that cause the legislature to want to clarify that. He asked if there are "nonprofit activities going on in Alaska of nonprofit organizations that are not nonprofit activities." SENATOR LEMAN said he thought the words on line 9 "or other nonprofit organizations" was to make sure the Special Olympics and the Ski Patrol were covered. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG added for background that last year the Legislature redefined "business" to include nonprofit organizations. The language in this bill actually came from Mr. Randy Parr, Department of Labor, and it was reviewed by Legislative Legal Service. CHAIRMAN MACKIE announced that he intended to hold the bill over so they could talk to the drafter to make sure it does what it's intended to do.