On May 28, 2019, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed into law a new bill requiring Maine employers to provide paid time off beginning January 1, 2021. The law is the first of its kind in the nation to require paid time off, for any reason, including vacation time.
The ordinance requires employers with 10 or more employees who work for more than 120 days in any calendar year to provide paid sick leave. Maine’s unemployment compensation laws generally determine who is a covered employee. All employees, with minimal exemptions, are covered under this bill. The law does not apply to employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement in effect on January 1, 2021, until expiration of the agreement.
SICK LEAVE ACCRUAL AND ENTITLEMENT
Employees begin to accrue leave at a rate of one leave hour for every 40 hours worked. Unless an employer chooses a higher annual limit, it must allow employees to accrue up to 40 hours of leave in a 12-month benefit period. At this time, there is no guidance on whether carryover of unused accrued paid leave is required, whether frontloading 40 hours annually is permissible or whether such frontloading relieves an employer of tracking accrual and/or carry-over. Employers may impose a probationary period of 120 days before an employee may use accrued leave.
Maine’s law allows employees to use leave for any reason. An employee must give reasonable notice to his or her employer of the intent to use paid leave. Employees must schedule leave to prevent undue hardship on the employer, as reasonably determined by the employer.
An employer must post in a place accessible to employees a copy of the state-created poster regarding Earned Leave Act rights. The law is silent as to whether employers must provide any other kind of notice, or any related information on employee paystubs.
Paylocity will support this accrual and will have the functionality available for the 1/1/21 effective date. We are continually monitoring this ordinance for further clarification on multiple items from the agency and will provide those details as soon as they become available.
For more information regarding this ordinance, please click here.
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This information is provided as a courtesy, may change and is not intended as legal or tax guidance. Employers with questions or concerns outside the scope of a Payroll Service Provider are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified CPA, Tax Attorney or Advisor.