In 2016, Maine voters approved an increase to the minimum wage from $7.50 to $12 in four steps. There was also a provision in there that once this was completed that the wage would increase annually adjusted by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers or CPI-W for the Northeast Region. This is the first year of the CPI adjustment. That number has been calculated for 2021 and it is $12.15 per hour on January 1, 2021.
STATEWIDE EARNED PAID LEAVE
Also on January 1, 2021, the earned paid leave program begins. Remember this was passed in the first year of the biennium or 2019, but implementation was delayed until 2021 due to a variety of factors including that the law needed to go through a rule making exercise. That occurred through the early stages of the pandemic in virtual meetings. Highlighted items:
includes all industries except for seasonal industries as defined by 26 M.R.S. sub-section 1251 for employers with more than 10 employees in Maine for more than 120 days in any calendar year. (See definition of Employer in 26 M.R.S. sub-section 1043 sec. 9.)
Includes all employees: full-time, part-time, temporary, per diem, etc.
Employees accrue 1 hour of Earned Paid Leave for every 40 hours worked, up to 40 hours in a defined year.
Employers may use their discretion to frontload Earned Paid Leave at the beginning of the year.
Employees can carry over up to 40 hours from one defined year to the next.
Employees can use up to 40 hours in any defined year.
Employers can apply a 120-day wait period before new employees can use their accrued Earned Paid Leave.
Employees can use their accrued Earned Paid Leave for any reason such as an emergency, illness, sudden necessity, planned vacation, etc.
Employees may be required to give up to 4 weeks advance notice to use earned paid leave for any reason other than an emergency, illness, or sudden necessity.
Employees are required to notify employers as soon as practicable if the use of Earned Paid Leave is for an emergency, illness, or sudden necessity.