Maine DOL Finalizes Rules for New Earned Employee Leave Law

The Maine Department of Labor has finalized rules outlining the specifics for implementing the state’s new earned time off law. The law was enacted earlier this year, following the introduction of LD 369, An Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave.

Effective January 1, 2021, any Maine business with more than 10 employees is now required to provide their full- and part-time workers with up to 40 hours of paid leave annually. Workers accrue one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked. Employees will begin accruing earned paid leave at the start of their employment and are eligible to use the accrued paid leave after they have been employed by the business for 120 days. The leave can be used for any reason, but employees are supposed to provide their employer with “reasonable notice” of intent to take the time.

The new rules include several important changes that may be of concern to credit unions:

  • All employees are included under this law (full-time, part-time, temporary, per diem).
  • Employees accrue 1 hour of earned paid leave for every 40 hours worked, up to 40 hours in a defined year.
  • Employees can bargain for, or employers can offer, a benefit of this nature that exceeds this standard.
  • Employers may use their discretion to frontload earned paid leave at the beginning of the year.
  • Employers that allow employees to use earned paid leave before it is accrued may withhold from the last paycheck any amount that the employee had not yet accrued.
  • Employees can carry over up to 40 hours from one defined year to the next.
  • Employees can use up to 40 hours in any defined year.
  • Salaried employees are presumed to work 40 hours per week unless there is an actual record of time worked.
  • Employers can apply a 120-day wait period before new employees can use their accrued earned paid leave.
  • Employees can use their accrued earned paid leave for any reason such as an emergency, illness, sudden necessity, planned vacation, etc.

The complete set of rules and the new law can be found on the Department of Labor’s website. For questions or additional information, please contact Ellen Parent, League Regulatory & Legislative Advocacy Coordinator, at