Maine: Final Regulations for Upcoming Earned Paid Leave Now Available

APPLIES TO

All Employers with 10+ ME Employees

EFFECTIVE

January 1, 2021

QUESTIONS?

Contact HR On-Call

(888) 378-2456

In June of 2019, Governor Mills signed into law LD 369 which requires private employers of 10 or more employees to provide employees earned paid leave (EPL). Like paid sick leave, EPL accrues based on hours worked, but unlike paid sick leave, it may be utilized for any reason.  As the effective date of January 1, 2021 fast approaches, the state Department of Labor has released final regulations containing definitions and procedures for implementing the statute.  Employers should note key portions of the guidance as discussed below.

  • Accrual and Carryover: Begins at the start of employment at the rate of one hour per 40 hours worked, up to a cap maximum of 40 hours of EPL per year.
    • Employers may require employees to complete a 120-day waiting period before they may begin using EPL.
    • Employers may choose to frontload the 40 hours instead on either a calendar year or employment anniversary schedule. If employers front-load time and an employee terminates prior to working enough hours to earn leave already taken, employers may deduct used, unearned leave from the last paycheck.
    • Accrued, unused EPL carries over to the next year, up to the 40-hour maximum cap.
  • Usage: EPL must be taken in minimum increments of at least one hour, unless the employer permits EPL to be taken in smaller increments of time.
  • Employee Notice and Scheduling: Employees must provide employer “reasonable notice” of intent to use EPL. Employers may adopt a policy of requiring up to four weeks’ notice of the intent to take leave.  Employers are also permitted to place reasonable limits on scheduling of EPL when it places undue hardship on the employer.
  • Employer Notice: Employers must display the “Regulation of Employment” poster, revision date 09/20.
  • Rate of Pay: EPL is paid at the employee’s regular base rate of pay, including bonuses and commissions. Employers using tip credits must pay EPL at the state’s minimum wage rate.

Action Items

  1. Prepare for implementation of a paid leave policy by 2021.
  2. Have managers and payroll administrators trained on the upcoming requirements.
  3. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2020 ManagEase

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