Effective January 1, 2021, Maine’s Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave requires covered employers to provide earned paid leave, which employees may use for any reason, including those for which sick leave is typically used. (26 MRSA Sec. 637).
Covered employers. Employers with more than 10 employees in the usual and regular course of business for more than 120 days in any calendar year must provide (permit each employee to earn) paid leave.
Seasonal employers are not included.
The Act also does not apply to an employee covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement during the period between January 1, 2021, and the expiration of the agreement.
Accrual. Employees are entitled to earn 1 hour of paid leave from a single employer for every 40 hours worked, up to 40 hours in 1 year of employment.
Accrual of leave begins at the start of employment, but the employer is not required to permit use of the leave before the employee has been employed by that employer for 120 days during a 1-year period.
Employers may adopt more generous leave entitlements and policies.
Wages and benefits. While taking earned leave, employees must be paid at least the same base rate of pay received immediately before taking earned leave.
Employees must also receive the same benefits as those provided under the employer’s other established paid leave policies.
Use of leave may not result in the loss of any employee benefits accrued before leave commenced and may not affect the employee's right to health insurance benefits on the same terms and conditions as applicable to similarly situated employees.
Notice. Absent an emergency, illness, or other sudden necessity for taking earned leave, employees must give reasonable notice of the ...