HR Alert

Maine Amends Certain Wage and Hour Laws

New Law Amends Provisions Regarding Meal & Rest Breaks, Wage Payment Timing, and Final Wages

A new law in Maine amends certain state wage and hour laws, including meal & rest breaks, wage payment timing, and final wages. Key provisions of the law are presented below.

Meal & Rest Breaks

Rest time required under state law may be used by the employee as unpaid mealtime, but only if the employee is completely relieved of duty.

Additionally, the rest break provisions do not apply to any place of employment where fewer than 3 employees are on duty at any one time; and the nature of the work done by the employee allows him or her frequent paid breaks of a shorter duration (than required under the rest break provisions) during his or her work day.

Wage Payment Timing

Under the new law, wage payments that fall on a day when the business is regularly closed must be paid no later than the following business day. An employee who is absent from work at a time fixed for payment must be paid as if the employee was not absent.

Wages must be paid on an established day or date at regular intervals made known to the employee. The interval may not be increased without written notice to the employee at least 30 days in advance of the increase (regardless of whether the interval is fewer than 16 days).

Final Wages

An employee leaving employment must be paid in full no later than the employee's next established payday. Whenever the terms of employment or the employer's established practice includes provisions for paid vacations, vacation pay on cessation of employment has the same status as wages earned.

Additional information (including revised provisions concerning child labor recordkeeping) is contained in the text of the law. A summary of current state wage and hour laws is available from the Maine Department of Labor. The law is effective 90 days after the adjournment of the 128th Maine Legislature, First Regular Session. Click here for updates regarding adjournment.

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