Maine Earned Paid Leave

EMPLOYERS: New Law In Effect January 1, 2021

Maine’s new Earned Paid Leave Law and rules require that employers* with more than 10 workers provide earned paid leave equal to or in excess of the new law.

Download the following information as 1-page PDF

Which employees count as eligible workers?

  • The following categories of workers count toward the 10-employee minimum and are eligible to earn paid leave:
  • Work 120 calendar days a year or more;
  • Located in Maine
  • Covered employees defined by 26 MRSA §1043(11), including:
    • Part-time
    • Full-time
    • Temporary
    • Per Diem
    • TIP: Employees listed on quarterly report to Bureau of Unemployment Compensation are likely to be covered.
  • Does NOT include employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement until the next agreement cycle.

What leave does the law require?

  • Leave is accrued at a rate of 1 hour per every 40 hours worked, up to 40 hours a year.
  • Paid at prior week rate of pay (Variable pay-rate workers, divide prior week earnings by hours worked)
  • Time off may be used for any reason: illness, emergency, vacation, etc.
  • Un-used time may be carried over; but you are only required to accrue up to 40 hours per year

What if I already offer leave?

You may provide a benefit greater than the law requires, but if your current offering does not meet the minimum of the law, you must expand it.

What else should I consider?

We recommend that employers consider implementing written policies that clarify the following topics:

TopicEmployers are Permitted to Establish the Following Written Policies:
Use• Restricting new employee use of earned paid leave for up to 120 calendar days after job start
• Restricting use during defined peak work periods for leave other than emergency or illness
• Restricting use the week after commissions or bonuses are paid
• Establishing a one-hour minimum increment
Notice• Requiring advance notice of up to 4 weeks for leave other than emergency or illness
Accrual & Use Period• Documenting whether the accrual and use period is the calendar year, anniversary year or other 12-month period
End of Employment • Describing whether the balance of accrued earned paid leave will be paid or not when employment ends

Where can I learn more?

*Defined by 26 MRSA §1043(9). Excludes seasonal industry, as defined by 26 MRSA §1251; those that customarily operate during a regularly recurring period of less than 26 weeks. Note: requires filing paperwork to confirm exemption.