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Alaska appealing decision on worker leave calculations

JUNEAU, Alaska — The state of Alaska is appealing a ruling that found it cannot count weeks rotational workers are not scheduled to work against leave time under a federal law.

The U.S. Labor Department in 2017 alleged that starting in 2014, the state miscalculated leave that ferry workers on rotational shifts are entitled to under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The state disputed the department’s interpretation of the law.

U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel Holland last year ruled the law entitles eligible employees to 12 work weeks of leave each year, not 12 weeks as the state argued.

An agreement finalized in July bars the state from counting weeks a worker is not scheduled to work against leave time, pending any future court decision, and lets the state appeal Holland’s decision.

The Associated Press