Okay, folks! This post is for those of you who have either decided to move to Alaska or are still thinking about moving to Alaska. For those who have read our backstory, you will know that we got off to a rough start when we first made it here.
That’s how this post was born.
Moving to Alaska should be an exciting time, and I want you to have as much information that can help you that I wish we would have had access to when we moved here!
To say that our first year here was humbling is an understatement. I told Daryl after we had moved south to Valdez that I would write something like this one day.
So, here I am to do just that!
Moving to Alaska is no doubt exciting. But when things do not go as planned, it can be terrifying, even with the best of plans in place — especially going into winter.
The terrible experience that we had with the employers that we went to work for when we first arrived left us very different people.
It also left us knowing that we never want anyone to go through that! I genuinely believe that everything happens for a reason, however.
We learned that lesson the hard way. Hopefully, you won’t have to. Or, better yet, hopefully, you will go to work with amazing people right off the bat! Alaska has plenty of them! There are crooked people here, just like anywhere else, however.
Contact the Labor Board
Research the people, not just the company.
Contacting the Labor Board (also called Alaska Wage and Hour) can be helpful. For example, we found out after our awful experience that complaints had been filed with the company that we went to work for. That would have been great information to have known beforehand.
One of the state workers we spoke with told us that what we were dealing with was an ongoing issue with many “businesses,” especially in rural areas.
“Your family is not the first and unfortunately will not be the last to experience something like this.”
That was heartbreaking to hear!
When people go through something like this after arriving here, they tend to either “leave the state” or try to pick the pieces up and start over. It is time-consuming to follow through with a labor board complaint and case. With that being said, the bad businesses get away with things as they do more often than not.
Alaska Court View
Alaska Court View is a resource that provides everything that goes through the Alaska Court System. You can find everything from traffic tickets to civil lawsuits to criminal history on that site. If it happened in Alaska, it would be there.
Company names, as well as individuals’ names, can be searched.
I have never been quick to judge someone if they tell me they got in trouble or have a record. After all, none of us are perfect.
For some, they were young and made bad choices, learned from them, and grew up! For others, they were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time.
I have dealt with people who have clean records that should be under a prison.
For those that do have a record, there is a massive difference between having one or two things on your record from 1990 something instead of having a rap sheet that starts in the ’80s and is still going strong today.
Use your discretion with what you see or don’t see.
I cannot stress enough that if employee housing is included in your plan, GET A LEASE.
Honest people will not have an issue with this, even if they haven’t done it before.
Alaska has The Alaska Landlord & Tenant Act.
It is not illegal for an employer to decide to fire you (or your entire family). But, it is unlawful for them to give you three days to move! Not that you would want to stay. But, a lease would protect you by law and provide you at least a fighting chance to find another place within the law’s timeline.
It is also against the law for employers to discharge or otherwise discriminate against employees who file complaints or testify in matters related to the state minimum wage law (AK Stat. Sec. 23.10.135).
Moving to Alaska should be fun!
Protect yourself, yes, but also enjoy the incredible opportunities (and views) that Alaska has to offer.
Some of the most amazing down-to-earth people I have ever met are right here in Alaska.
I hope these links have offered value to your research!
Moving to Alaska has been one of the most rewarding things we have ever done, regardless of the rough start.
If you have any questions, please reach out and comment below!
Until next time…