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Maine’s summer legislative session resulted in several new bills implementing or expanding upon previous employment regulations, including ban-the-box, tip credits, paid family leave eligibility, and more.
LD 1167: Ban-the-Box. Effective October 18, 2021, employers are prohibited from requesting criminal history information on initial employment application forms, or from stating on applications or job postings that an individual with criminal history will not be considered for a position. Exceptions apply for positions in which federal or state law regulates what type of criminal conviction history is permissible for the role.
LD 1489: Increased Tip Minimum. Effective October 18, 2021, workers must receive at least $175 in tips per month to be considered a service employee. This rate will increase based on annual cost of living beginning January 1, 2022. Employers relying on tip credits to calculate employees’ hourly rates should review any workers earning less than the minimum tip threshold in case the worker no longer qualifies as a service employee.
LD 61: Expanded Eligibility for Paid Family Leave. Effective October 18, 2021, grandparents providing care for a grandchild or a domestic partner’s grandchild with serious health conditions are eligible for protected leave under the Maine Family Medical Leave Requirements Act.
LD 1106: Prohibition of Charging for Direct Deposit. Effective October 18, 2021, employers may not charge workers a fee for paying wages via direct deposit.
LD 183: Juneteenth Established as Paid Sate Holiday. June 19th has been designated as Juneteenth, recognized as a paid state holiday in which all nonessential state offices will be closed. The first Juneteenth observance will take place next year on June 19, 2022.
One-Time “Back to Work” Program. Launched on June 15, 2021, the Back to Work program offers a one-time payment of $1,500 to eligible full-time employees who started a job between June 15 and July 25, or a $750 payment for part-time employees in the same time frame. The program is first-come, first-serve up to $10 million. Workers will need to apply for the payment through the Maine Department of Labor’s website. Employers can go online to provide documentation verifying the worker has completed eight weeks of work.
- Have employment applications updated.
- Review tipped worker pay for potential adjustment.
- Have paid family leave policies updated.
- Review direct deposit charges for compliance.
- Have appropriate personnel trained on new requirements.
- 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.
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