Maine’s Paid Employee Leave Act Begins in 2021
On January 1, 2021, Maine will become the first state in the US to require employers to provide their employees with paid time off for any reason. The new law, "An Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave", was passed early in 2019, but will take effect starting January 2021.
Summary of New Leave Law
The new law, LD 396, applies to employers with more than 10 employees. Employees who are employed for more than 120 days in the calendar year, must be provided with 1 hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked, with a maximum of 40 hours of leave per year.1 An employee can start accruing paid leave when employment starts, but he or she cannot use the paid leave until after 120 days of employment.
Penalty for Noncompliance
Employers who fail to comply with this law will be subject to penalties of up to $1,000 per violation.
Tracking Paid Leave
Virtual TimeClock provides employers with a simple way to track accrued leave hours in accordance with the new leave law in Maine. Employers can create custom leave categories and specify the accrual rate, including a cap on the maximum award. The example below shows how an employer can setup the 1 hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked rule outlined above.