Earned Employee Leave Enacted
Maine has signed into law “An Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave,” earlier enacted as “An Act To Support Healthy Workplaces and Healthy Families by Providing Earned Paid Sick Leave to Certain Employees” the first law in the nation to allow employees to use mandated paid leave for any reason. The new law, signed on May 28, will take effect on January 1, 2021. Nearly 85 percent of Maine’s private sector employees will receive paid leave under the new law.
The law requires Maine employers with at least 10 employees who work more than 120 hours in a calendar year, other than seasonal workers, to provide one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours an employee works. An employee can earn up to 40 hours of paid leave annually. The law permits eligible employees to use the paid leave for any reason. Employees can start accruing leave on their first day of work but cannot use the leave until after 120 days of employment.
An employee while taking earned leave must be paid at least the same base rate of pay that the employee received immediately prior to taking earned leave and must receive the same benefits as those provided under established policies of the employer pertaining to other types of paid leave.
Absent an emergency, illness or other sudden necessity for taking earned leave, an employee shall give reasonable notice to the employee’s supervisor of the employee’s intent to use earned leave. Use of leave must be scheduled to prevent undue hardship on the employer as reasonably determined by the employer.
Earned paid leave does not apply to an employee covered by a collective bargaining agreement during the period between January 1, 2021, and the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement