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January 07, 2021

Maine's Earned Paid Leave Law takes effect January 1, 2021

This law requires businesses with 11 or more employees to allow workers to earn up to 40 hours of annual paid leave.

Maine is the first state to permit using this leave for reasons outside of illness, as long as employees give their employer reasonable notice. Gov. Janet Mills signed the Earned Paid Leave Law in May 2019, after working with a diverse group of stakeholders that included the Maine State Chamber of Commerce.  We recognize the law is imperfect, however given the alternatives, we believe it is far more manageable than originally proposed and does represent a consensus.

The Earned Paid Leave Law applies to employers with 11 or more workers in Maine for 120 days or more in a calendar year, except for seasonal industries as defined in the statute. Employers covered by the law must provide employees with one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours they work, up to a maximum of 40 hours of paid leave per year.  The Maine Department of Labor has developed a slide presentation about the law that can be accessed here.

In addition, the department has developed several resources to help employers and workers navigate this new law. This information is available on their Earned Paid Leave web page.

We hope you find this information helpful.  If you have questions, please contact me by emailing

Peter Gore, Executive Vice President Maine State Chamber of Commerce

Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce

4 Western Avenue South Paris, ME 04281

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