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Noncompete Reform Continues in New England: Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island All Pass New Laws

Noncompete reform continues to crop up in New England. We previously wrote about comprehensive reform in Massachusetts late last year, and now three more states have passed legislation in recent weeks. All three states – Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island – now prohibit employers from entering noncompetition agreements with low-wage employees, though the definition of “low wage” varies by state.

Maine and New Hampshire Join the Ranks of States Restricting Use of Noncompete Agreements – with Rhode Island on the Cusp

In recent weeks, Maine and New Hampshire each enacted a law prohibiting the use of noncompete agreements with lower wage earners. Shortly thereafter, on July 11, 2019, the Rhode Island legislature sent a similar bill to Governor Raimondo’s desk for signature.

Maine Enacts Law Extending Protections to Pregnant and Nursing Employees

On June 27, 2019, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed into law L.D. 666, which extends existing protections for pregnant and nursing employees in Maine. The act, entitled “An Act to Protect Pregnant Workers,” creates broad protections for workers, covering any limitation of an employee’s ability to perform their job due to pregnancy, child birth, or related medical conditions including lactation. The act also amends existing provisions of 5 M.R.S.A. § 4572-A to make the section’s protections gender-neutral.

Maine Expands Antidiscrimination Law and Restricts Noncompete Agreements

Lawmakers in Maine closed out the 2019 legislative session with a flurry of activity. Legislators passed more than 500 bills this year, including 50 on the final day, with many targeting the state’s employment laws.

Maine Signs into Law Consumer Privacy Law

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which goes into effect January 1, 2020, is considered the most robust state privacy law in the United States. The CCPA seems to have spurred a flood of similar legislative proposals on the state level, and started a shift in the consumer privacy law landscape. Many of these proposals end up dying somewhere along the rigorous legislative process, but in the last few weeks both Maine and Nevada signed into law bills that, although much more narrow than the CCPA, certainly bear resemblance.

New Maine Law Requires Time Off From Work For Appointments at VA Medical Facilities

State and local leave laws are changing weekly and sometimes even daily! For the second time this month, Maine is adjusting its leave laws. Employers in Maine will soon be required to provide veterans with time away from work to attend scheduled appointments at Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities. If paid leave is available to the veteran, he or she must be permitted to use paid leave for the absence. If a veteran has no available paid leave, then the employer must allow the veteran to take unpaid leave. Veterans are required to give their employer notice of the appointment “as soon as reasonably possible.” The law goes into effect on September 19, 2019.

New Maine Law Requires Employers to Provide Employees Paid Leave to Use for ‘Any Reason’

Maine Governor Janet Mills has signed into law “An Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave,” the first law in the nation to allow employees to use mandated paid leave for any reason. The new law, signed on May 28, will take effect on January 1, 2021. Approximately 85 percent of Maine’s private sector employees will receive paid leave under the new law.

Maine Earned Leave Act: Maine Really is the Vacation State

On May 28, 2019, Maine Governor Janet Mills (D) signed into law a groundbreaking new statute requiring Maine employers (even small businesses) to provide paid time off beginning January 1, 2021. The law is the first of its kind in the nation to require paid time off, for any reason, including vacation time. Unfortunately, for employers, the law is short on specifics, leaving it to the state labor department to – hopefully – issue rules that will assist employers with many open questions about the their rights and obligations under the act.

Maine Enacts Nation’s Strictest Data Privacy Restrictions on Internet Service Providers

On Thursday, June 6, 2019, Maine governor Janet Mills signed into law new data privacy protections for Maine residents. The law, entitled “An Act To Protect the Privacy of Online Customer Information,” places new restrictions on Internet service providers (ISPs), effective July 1, 2020. The law prohibits the use or sale of customer information without those customers opting in to having their data shared.

Timed Out: Continuous Rep Doctrine Denied in Maine

You generally know the drill: a plaintiff has limited time to file suit. Generally, the statutory period begins when the plaintiff knows or reasonably should know that she has been harmed and that the defendant caused that harm.
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