The Maine Human Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of national origin (ME Rev. Stat. Tit. 5 Sec. 4551 et seq.). Practices that discriminate against resident immigrants who are legally eligible for employment may constitute national origin bias within the meaning of the Act. The Act applies to all employers in the state.
Citizenship requirements that are made a condition of employment discriminate on the basis of national origin in violation of the state law. Inquiries about a person's citizenship or country of birth are unlawful and imply discrimination on the basis of national origin.
The Maine Human Rights Commission enforces the Maine Human Rights Act. The Commission is authorized to initiate, receive, and investigate discrimination complaints; issue subpoenas, hold hearings, and issue administrative decisions and orders; and enforce its orders in state court. Remedies can include cease and desist orders, hiring, reinstatement, back pay, and legal fees. Civil fines may also be assessed. In certain instances, a person alleging discrimination may also file a private lawsuit in state court. Lawsuits must be filed within 2 years of the alleged discrimination.