What are the Maine Labor Laws?
The state of Maine offers a set of labor laws to protect the interests of both its employees, as well as, employers.
Severance pay in Maine
Labor laws in Maine do not typically need its employers to offer severance pay to its employees. Ideally, when an employer opts to offer severance benefits, they need to adhere to the terms mentioned in the employment contract or its internal policies.
On the other hand, when an employer shifts or closes a commercial or industrial facility, which has employed a minimum of 100 employees in the preceding one year, each affected employee should be provided with severance pay.
Minimum wage in Maine
The current minimum wage in the state is 11 USD. However, there are plans for the minimum wage increases to 12 USD from January 2020. In case the minimum wage set by the federal government in the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) is more than the minimum wage of Maine, the minimum wage for the state will go up to be at par with the federal wage. In case there is an increase in the minimum wage of the state due to any alterations in the minimum wage of the federal system, the change will have to be implemented on the same day. However, the changed minimum wage should be more than 1 USD above the current rate of Maine.
Overtime in Maine
Labor laws in Maine need its employers to pay overtime to their employees at 11/2 time of their regular rate in case they have worked more than 40 hours per week unless exempted.
Meals and breaks in Maine
Labor laws in the state need employers to offer an opportunity to their employees to take a break of 30 minutes though unpaid after working consecutively for 6 hours when a minimum of three employees are on duty during that time. Employers and employees can enter into a negotiation for either more or less break period. However, both the parties must enter into a written agreement. Meanwhile, federal requires an employer to arrange for a non-meal break that should last for a maximum of 20 minutes, which should be paid.
Vacation leave in Maine
Employers in Maine do not have to offer vacation benefits to their employees either unpaid or paid. When employers desire to offer such benefits, he/she should adhere to the employment contract or internal policies. Some features related to vacation leave in the state are as follows:
- Employers can enter into a contract or set a policy lawfully that can deny payment to their employees for their accrued vacation leaves in case the latter is separated from employment.
- In Maine, employers can also enter into an agreement making their employees disqualified from getting pay for their accrued vacation leaves when they separate from employment in case they do not comply with specific requirements. For instance, the failures may include not offering a notice period of 2 weeks. An employer might cap the number of vacation days an employee may accrue over time.
- Employers can require employees to exhaust their leaves within a fixed date or even lose it.
- Employers do not compulsorily have to make payment for any accrued vacation leave when the employer leaves the organization when the employment contract has no mention of the issue.
- Employers in Maine have to pay for accrued vacation leaves to their employees after the later separate in case the contract or policy requires the same.
Sick leave in Maine
Labor laws in Maine do not need its employers to offer sick leave benefits to its employees – paid or unpaid. The state’s employers may have to offer unpaid sick leave to its employees according to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act or Family and Medical Leave Requirements of Maine.