Maine State Labor and Overtime Laws
What’s in This Article
a table of contents
Minimum Wage in Maine
Maine’s minimum wage increased to $11 per hour as of January 1, 2019.
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:
- $10 per hour in 2018
- $9 per hour in 2017
- $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
Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees
Minimum wage for tipped workers in Maine increased to $5.50 per hour as of January 1, 2019.
The prior minimum wage for tipped employees in Maine was:
- 2017 & 2018: $5.00 per hour
- Prior to 2017: $3.75 per hour
Portland Minimum Wage
The 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 employees who work within the City. The minimum wage for Portland increased to $10.90 per hour as of July 1, 2018.
Since the state minimum wage is $11 per hour as of January 1, 2019, Portland employers must currently pay the higher state minimum wage. The Portland minimum wage is connected to the CPI and may increase on July 1, 2019. If it increases beyond $11 per hour, Portland employers will need to comply with the higher city minimum wage ordinance.
Overtime Regulations in Maine
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).
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.
Maine Holidays & Vacation
Maine state labor laws do not require employers to provide paid holidays, sick leave, vacation, or health insurance.
Meal Breaks & Rest Periods
Maine state labor law breaks state that 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.
Maine’s Payment Laws
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.
Employers cannot take deductions for shortages, damages, customers or credit card errors.
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 About Maine Labor Laws
- 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 the minimum wage.
Yes. Maine state law does not put a limit on the number of hours employees can be required to work.
Yes, but you must be informed of the change before you do any work at the new rate.
- 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.