On September 14, 2023, Maine Governor Janet Mills declared a state of emergency due to Hurricane Lee’s anticipated landfall on the Pine Tree state. Although this declaration is a seemingly routine measure to ramp up natural disaster response preparedness, it has triggered a costly hazard pay measure for nearly
Articles About Maine Labor and Employment Law.
Maine recently wrapped a busy 2023 legislative session that brought several significant legal changes relevant for employers. Those changes include increasing the cap on damages for violations of the Maine Human Rights Act (MHRA), expanding the protections of Maine Equal Pay Law to include race, amending the Workers’ Compensation Act
Beginning May 1, 2026, Maine’s new paid family leave law will allow Maine employees up to 12 weeks of family and medical leave benefits over a one-year period.
The First Special Session of the 131st Maine Legislature included debate about more than 2,000 bills. Many that were adopted will impact employers in the Pine Tree State. Below is a brief summary of important employment law changes enacted this session.
An Act to Create the Maine Paid Family
Maine is expected to join 13 other states and Washington, D.C. in implementing a paid family and medical leave program. Maine’s program, which will provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave per year, covers all eligible employees of private and public employers, except employees of the federal
The Portland, Maine City Council voted unanimously on August 8, 2022, to send five citizen-initiated referendums to voters in the November election.
One of the referendums that will appear on the November 8 ballot – “An Act to Eliminate the Sub-Minimum Wage, Increase the Minimum Wage and Strengthen Protections
Maine recently joined the list of states—including California, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Washington, and others—with laws restricting employers’ use of nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) and confidentiality terms in settlement, separation, and severance agreements.
Maine’s governor recently signed H.P. 160 – L.D.
In spite of significant opposition from Maine’s business community, including the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and leaders in the tourism, hospitality, and small business communities, Governor Janet Mills signed into law Legislative Document (L.D.) 225, “An Act Regarding the Treatment of Vacation Time upon the Cessation of Employment” on
The Maine Legislature will soon consider a bill that would raise the salary threshold for overtime pay from $38,250 to $57,375 within three years. If enacted, Legislative Document (L.D.) 607 would increase the threshold for salaried overtime pay in Maine every year, from 3,000 percent of the state’s minimum wage
At their first meeting of the new year, city councilors in Portland, Maine repealed a COVID-19 emergency order that had been in place since March of 2020, thereby terminating a short-lived hazard pay provision. During the January 3, 2022 session, councilors also unanimously adopted a mask mandate for almost
At their final meeting of the year, on December 20, 2021, city councilors in Portland, Maine left the city’s existing COVID-19 emergency order in place, thereby triggering implementation of a significant hazard pay requirement. As a result, covered employers in Portland must pay hourly employees at least $19.50 per hour starting January 1, 2022.
The Maine Department of Labor announced on September 17, 2021 that the state’s public sector employees will be subject to President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate due to Maine’s state plan agreement with the federal government.
In July 2021, Maine enacted a new “ban-the-box” law that limits employer inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history. Under the new law, entitled “An Act Relating to Fair Chance in Employment,” employers are prohibited from including criminal history inquiries in an application, but can engage in such inquiries during an
Maine’s new “An Act Relating to Fair Chance in Employment” prohibits employers from requesting an applicant’s criminal history on their initial employment applications. An employer may ask about an applicant’s criminal history during an interview or once the applicant has been determined qualified for the position.