Maine Minimum Wage Laws
Maine’s current minimum wage is $12.15.
Beginning on January 1, 2021, the minimum wage will increase each year consistent with the percentage increase for the prior year in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, CPI-W, for the Northeast Region, or its successor index, as published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics or its successor agency, with the amount of the minimum wage increase rounded to the nearest multiple of $0.05. Maine Department of Labor: Minimum Wage, ME Statute 664(1)
If the federal minimum wage set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act increases to be greater than Maine’s minimum wage, the state’s minimum wage will increase to match the federal wage. Any increases to Maine’s minimum wage triggered by changes in the federal minimum wage shall go into effect on the same day but shall not exceed $1 above the state’s current rate. ME Statute 664.
Tip minimum wage
Maine’s minimum wage for tipped employees is $6.08. Maine Department of Labor: Minimum Wage
Employers must notify employees that they will be paid the tipped wage rate before the employee begins working in the tipped position. They must also ensure that employees being paid the tipped minimum wage are paid the standard minimum wage when tipped wages earned are combined with tips received. The difference between the tipped minimum wage and the standard minimum wage that may be credited to earned tips is called a tip credit. If the tip credit is not sufficient to ensure tipped employees are paid the standard minimum wage, the employer must pay employees wages sufficient to cover the shortage. ME Statute 664(2)
Tips given to a tipped employee are considered the property of the employee who received them and may not be shared with his or her employer. Amounts that belong to the tipped employee include tips that are automatically charged to a customer or that are charged on a customer’s credit card. Employers must pay employees tips paid by credit card by the employee’s by the next regular payday. Additionally, employers may not withhold paying employees tips received while the employer awaits payment from a credit card company. ME Statute 26-664(2)
In a banquet or private club setting, an employer may retain service charges paid by customers if the employer informs the customer beforehand. In this situation, the service charge does not constitute a tip for tip credit purposes, although the employer may use all or part of service charges received to meet its obligation to pay employees the minimum standard wage.
Tip pooling and sharing
Maine minimum wage laws allow employers to establish a valid tip pool or tip sharing arrangement among employees so long as it is consistent with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and it regulations regarding tip/gratuity pooling. ME Statute 26-664(2-A)
Employees with disabilities
When the minimum wage law is applicable, Maine’s Department of Labor may grant a special certificate allowing employers to pay less than minimum wage to employees who have disabilities and that employees are unable to perform the same duties as individuals without disabilities. The Department of Labor may conduct hearings and investigations for the purpose of assigning a special minimum wage for a disabled employee. Special certificates given to an employer for this purpose are valid for no more than two years from the issued date and can be renewed by the Department. When an employer provides proper documentation requesting the assignment of a special minimum wage, the Director may issue a special certificate covering more than one disabled employee. ME Statute 26-666
Maine’s minimum wage law does not allow employers to pay trainees a subminimum wage rate lower than the standard minimum wage.
Maine’s minimum wage law does not allow employers to pay apprentices a subminimum wage rate lower than the standard minimum wage.
Maine’s minimum wage law does not allow employers to pay learners a subminimum wage rate lower than the standard minimum wage.
Maine’s minimum wage law does not allow employers to pay student learners a subminimum wage rate lower than the standard minimum wage.
Maine’s minimum wage law does not allow employers to pay student workers a subminimum wage rate lower than the standard minimum wage.