Wage and Hour Laws in Maine | Current Maine Labor Laws


Minimum Wage

The current minimum wage in Maine is $12.75. If the federal minimum wage is higher than the state’s, Maine must increase its minimum wage. Additionally, the total minimum wage will increase yearly, consistent with the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

For tipped workers, the minimum wage is $6.38. Employers must notify employees they will be paid tipped wage rates before they begin working. Also, employees must be paid the standard minimum wage rate when combining tips and tipped wages.

In instances where employees make less than the standard minimum wage, employers must cover the difference. When employees receive tips, they are considered their property and cannot be shared with employers.Visit our Maine minimum wage information page to learn more about minimum wage in Maine.

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Overtime

Maine labor laws require employers to pay employees overtime at a rate of 1½ time their regular rate when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek, unless otherwise exempt. ME Statute 26.664. See FLSA: Overtime for more information regarding overtime requirements.


Prevailing Wages

Under certain circumstances, employers in Maine may be required to pay residents wage rates established by the federal or state prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the state’s standard minimum wage rates. Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on federal or state government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain federal or state government services. See the Maine Prevailing Wages, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.


Meals and Breaks

Maine labor laws require employers to give employees the opportunity to take an unpaid rest break of thirty (30) consecutive minutes after six (6) hours worked except:

  • in cases of emergency where there is danger of property, life, public safety or public health; or
  • if:
    • fewer than three (3) employees are on duty at any one time; and
    • the nature of the work done by the employees allows the employee frequent paid breaks of a shorter duration during the employee’s work day.

ME Statute 26:601.

Maine does not have any laws requiring employers to provide rest breaks to employees. However, based on the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, if an employer chooses to provide rest breaks to employees lasting less than twenty (20) minutes, the rest breaks must be paid. DOL: Breaks and Meal Periods.


Nursing Mother Breaks

Maine labor laws require employers to allow employees who are nursing mothers to use paid break or meal time or provide adequate unpaid break time each day for the employees to express breast milk for up to three (3) years following childbirth. Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide clean rooms or other locations, other than bathrooms, where they employees may express breast milk in privacy. Employers may not discriminate against employees who choose to express breast milk in the workplace. ME Statute 26:604


Vacation Leave

Maine employers with 10+ employees could be required to pay employees for paid leave. Starting January 1, 2023, employers will have to pay employees for accrued and unused vacation. This applies to employees who stop working for the employer, regardless of the reason.

Employers who don’t fall into Maine’s vacation leave policies aren’t required to offer paid or unpaid vacation benefits. If employers decide to provide said benefits, they must follow the terms set in employment contracts and established policies.

A few other notable points about vacation leave in Maine include:

  • Employers must pay accrued vacation if a policy or contract requires it.
  • Employers can establish a policy disqualifying employees from paid vacation leave if they fail specific requirements.
  • Employers can set policies that deny payment for accrued vacation upon employment termination.
  • Employers can cap the amount of accrued vacation employees are entitled to.

Visit our Maine vacation leave information page to learn more about vacation leave in Maine.


Sick Leave

There isn’t a specific law requiring Maine employers to provide employees with paid or unpaid sick leave. Employers within Maine’s earned paid leave law could be required to allow employees to take sick leave.

Employers could also be required to offer unpaid sick leave via the Family and Medical Leave Act.Visit our Maine sick leave information page to learn more about sick leave in Maine.


Holiday Leave

There aren’t any laws in Maine that require private employers to provide unpaid or paid holiday leave. Private employers can also require employees to work on holidays without being offered premium pay. When employees’ hours fall into overtime, employers will be required to provide a premium wage.

Employers who create paid or unpaid holiday leave policies must comply with said terms. Also, they must follow any terms established in employment contracts for holiday leave.

Visit our Maine holiday leave information page to learn more about holiday leave in Maine.


Jury Duty Leave

In Maine, employers aren’t obligated to pay employees for attending a jury summons. Additionally, they cannot threaten, penalize, or terminate employees for serving on a jury.

Visit our Maine jury duty leave page to learn more about jury duty leave in Maine.


Voting Leave

Maine employers are not required to offer their employees paid or unpaid time off to vote.

Visit our Maine voting leave page to learn more about voting leave in Maine.


Severance Pay

Maine labor laws do not generally require employers to provide employees with severance pay. Typically, if an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

However, if an employer closes or relocates an industrial or commercial facility that has employed 100 or more employees in the preceding 12 months, it must pay severance to each affect employee. The severance for each employee must be paid at a rate of one week’s pay for each year the employee was employed at the facility. ME Statute 26:625-B.


Unemployment

U

Residents of Maine could receive unemployment benefits while searching for another job. That said, residents must meet specific eligibility requirements to receive benefits, which include:

  • Applicants must have lost their job through no fault of their own.
  • Applicants must be actively seeking work while receiving unemployment benefits.
  • Applicants must be continually available and able to work.
  • Applicants must have enough earnings and work history in the past 18 months to qualify.
  • Applicants must have earned at least $1,968.00 in two calendar quarters and $5,904.00 in the total base period.

Visit Maine’s unemployment information page to learn more about unemployment benefits in Maine.


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Have employees in more than one state? SUBSCRIBE HERE!

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We hope you find our newsletters help you better navigate employment and labor law issues.