Maine’s New Paid Leave Law: Employer Confusion
On May 28, 2019, Governor Mills signed into law the nation’s first ever paid leave law requiring leave for any reason. The statute itself is uniquely brief, giving the impression that it is straightforward, but there are a host of important issues that the statute does not address. Below, we have identified what we know—and what we do not know—about the Maine’s new paid leave law thus far.
Here is what we know:
Additionally, we know that the law prohibits any other political subdivision from enacting a law covering the same subject matter; that only the Maine DOL may enforce provisions of the Act; that the Maine DOL is tasked with creating regulations to effectuate the Act; and that the law does not apply to employees covered by collective bargaining agreements.
However, because of the law’s brevity and wording, there is still much we do not know about how the law will operate:
The bottom line is that despite what appears to be a straightforward bill, we are left with a series of uncertainties until the Department of Labor enacts regulations to we hope clarify the details of this paid leave law. Until then, employers with 11 or more employees should review their current policies and consider how those policies might interact with or compare to the requirements of the new paid leave law. In addition, businesses should stay alert for DOL updates on regulations governing paid leave.
If you wish to discuss your company’s specific situation for some early planning, you may contact any attorney in the Verrill Dana Employment Group, and we will be glad to work through the most likely impact of the law on your operations.
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