State Defends Benefit Calculation for Alaska Ferry Workers

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The state of Alaska is defending its calculation of family and medical leave for ferry workers on rotational shifts.

    The state wants a federal judge to toss a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor.

    The matter focuses on ferry workers who are scheduled to work one to three weeks at a time and then are off for similar amounts of time.

    The federal department, in its lawsuit, says weeks in which rotational employees are not scheduled to work cannot count against their 12-workweek entitlement of leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

    The state contends that is a misreading of the law and would allow an employee who works one week on and one week off to get 24 weeks of leave.

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