On May 28, Gov. Janet Mills signed L.D. 369, making Maine the first state to require that private employers provide earned paid leave—not just sick leave—to employees.
The bill, An Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave, requires private employers that employ 10 or more employees for more than 120 days in a calendar year to provide 1 hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours of paid leave per year. The new law will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021.
The law permits eligible employees to use the paid leave for any reason. Employees can start accruing leave on their first day of work but cannot use the leave until after 120 days of employment.
L.D. 369 exempts seasonal businesses, employers of employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement, employers that hire workers for fewer than 120 days, and employers with fewer than 10 employees.
When signing the bill, Mills said the law would cover about 85 percent of Maine's workforce while exempting more than 40,000 of the state's 50,792 businesses.
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