Maine State Labor and Overtime Laws

Maine Overtime and Labor Laws

Maine Overtime and Labor Laws

Minimum Wage: Maine’s minimum wage increased to $10 per hour as of January 1, 2018. In 2017, the minimum wage was $9.00 per hour and prior to that, it was $7.50 per hour. Maine’s minimum wage will increase $1 per hour each following year until it reaches $12 per hour in 2020, with annual cost of living increases after 2020.

Prior minimum wage rates for Maine were:
  • $7.50 per hour as of October 1, 2009
  • $7.25 per hour as of October 1, 2008
  • $7.00 per hour as of October 1, 2007

Tipped Employees: Mininum wage for tipped workers in Maine increases to $5.00 per hour as of January 1, 2017 with $1 per hour increases each year until it matches the minimum wage for all other workers (in 2024 based on current rates). The prior minimum wage for tipped employees in Maine was $3.75 per hour.

Portland Minimum Wage: Portland City Council voted to raise minimum wage to $10.68 per hour as of January 1, 2017. The minimum wage ordinance applies to employers who have a place of business in the City and have employee who work within the City. Tipped employees may be paid a reduced minimum wage of at least $5.00 per hour as long as their tips get them to at least $10.68 per hour.

Overtime Regulations: Overtime pay of time and a half is due after 40 hours of work per workweek.

Limits on Mandatory Overtime: Employees may not be required to work more than 80 hours of overtime in any consecutive 2 week period. Exceptions include salaried exempt employees, emergency and essential services, agricultural workers and others. Nurses who have worked 12 mandatory hours may refuse to work additional hours and cannot be disciplined for refusing. They also must be allowed at least 10 hours off following any such period (with some exceptions).

Overtime Exemptions: The following employees are exempt from the Minimum Wage and Overtime regulations:

  • Salaried executive, administrative or professional employees. Under state law, these employees must be paid a salary equivalent to 3000 times the state minimum wage. As of 2017, that puts the minimum salary required under ME state law higher than the amount required by federal law ($455*/week)
  • Certain commissioned sales employees
  • Taxicab drivers
  • Fishing employees
  • Certain camp & recreational program counselors
  • Agricultural employees
  • Certain switchboard operators
  • Home workers who make items for sale
  • Dependent members of employer’s family

* The Department of Labor under the Obama Administration increased this salary amount to $913 per week effective 12/1/2016; however, this increase was blocked by a court ruling. The Trump Administration is now reconsidering these changes and appears to favor a lower minimum salary amount. Please see this page for the latest updates.

The following employees are exempt from the Overtime regulations only:

  • Car salespeople, service writers, mechanics, and parts clerks who are paid commissions or on a flat-rate basis
  • Perishable food and sardine processors
  • Public employees, including police and fire departments
  • Drivers and driver’s helpers who are exempt from overtime
  • under Federal law are exempt from Maine’s overtime regulations:
    • if the manner in which they are paid is reasonably equivalent to 1.5 times their regular hourly rate for hours worked over 40 in a work week.
    • if they are covered by a collective bargaining agreement that regulates their rate of pay
    • if their employer has a contract with the federal government or agency that sets the minimum hourly rate they will be paid.

Holidays/Vacation: Maine state labor laws do not require employers to provide paid holidays, sick leave, vacation or health insurance.

Meal Breaks/Rest Periods: Employees who work 6 hours or more are entitled to an unpaid rest break of 30 minutes if 3 or more people are on duty. No other breaks are required.

Deductions: Employers cannot take deductions for shortages, damages, customers or credit card errors

Pay Period: Maine labor laws require payment of wages in regular intervals not exceeding 16 days. Payment must include all wages earned to within 8 days of the payment date.

Final Payment of wages: Under Maine state labor laws, employers are required to pay all earned wages on the next normal payday after terminations.

Statute Of Limitations: The statute of limitations for bringing Maine labor law claims is six (6) years – meaning back wages can be recovered from the time of the filing of a lawsuit going back 6 years in time.

Other Questions
Can my employer change my schedule, hours or rate of pay? Maine state employment laws do not prohibit an employer from changing an employee’s hours or schedule. An employee’s pay rate can be lowered but not below minimum wage.

Can I be required to work mandatory overtime? Yes. Maine state law does not put a limit on the number of hours employees can be required to work.

Can my pay rate be changed? Yes, but you must be informed of the change before you do any work at the new rate.

Can my position be changed from hourly to salary? Yes; however, it’s important to note that your job duties and pay rate may still entitle you to overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

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