Maine’s new earned paid leave law begins

Fri, 01/01/2021 - 1:00pm

AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Labor is reminding business owners that Maine’s new Earned Paid Leave Law, which ensures employees of businesses with more than 10 employees can earn up to 40 hours of annual paid leave, goes into effect January 1.

Maine is the first state to permit using this leave for reasons outside of illness, as long as employees give their employer reasonable notice, according to a news release. 

Governor Janet Mills signed the Earned Paid Leave Law in May 2019, after working with a diverse group of stakeholders to create a consensus to support Maine workers who lacked paid leave. It received strong bipartisan support in the Legislature and an endorsement from the Maine State Chamber of Commerce.

The Earned Paid Leave Law applies to employers with more than 10 workers in Maine for 120 days or more in a calendar year, except for seasonal industries as defined in the statute.

Employers covered by the law must provide employees with one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours they work, up to a maximum of 40 hours of paid leave per year.

MDOL held 10 public listening sessions last fall on the law prior to the formal rulemaking process. It also held a virtual public hearing and received written comments on the draft Rules, responses to which have been posted online.

More information is available here