General Earned Paid Leave FAQ's

The Bureau has compiled lists of frequently asked questions and answers from the Earned Paid Leave listening sessions held in the Fall of 2019, public comments received on the proposed Rules, public webinar sessions in 2020, stakeholder meetings, and conversations among the Maine Department of Labor staff.

The following information is general guidance based on hypothetical scenarios. It is not legal advice on any specific situation.

Individual cases must be analyzed and decided by the Bureau of Labor Standards (BLS).

Click on any of the drop downs listed below to view the general FAQs listed.

Accrual of Earned Paid Leave (23-30)

Answer: Accrual of Earned Paid Leave beings at the start of employment. The start of employment is defined in the Rules as the first day that an employee performed work for the employer. Please note that completion of new hire paperwork is considered time worked and should be paid as such. This time will count toward the accrual of Earned Paid Leave.

Answer:  It should be as precise as hours tracked by the employer’s timekeeping system. It is a legal requirement to track the hours worked by non-exempt employees. It is not a requirement to track the hours of salaried “exempt” employees. Under the Earned Paid Leave Law, salaried “exempt” employees are presumed to work 40 hours per week unless their hours are recorded otherwise.

Answer: Yes. The annual maximum of 40 hours of Earned Paid Leave may be front-loaded at the beginning of the calendar year, or on the employee’s anniversary date, as long as the employees receive no less Earned Paid Leave than if they had earned it week by week.

Answer:  In most cases, employers do not track the time of their salaried exempt workers. In such cases, this law needs an assumption for the benefit to be calculated.

Answer: If there is no actual record of hours worked and the employee does not dispute the standard, then the IRS standard would be acceptable.

Answer: An employee would not continue to accrue Earned Paid Leave while out on paid or unpaid leave.  However, the days the employee is out on leave do count toward the threshold of 120 days of employment.

Answer:  Earned Paid Leave is accrued through hours worked for a single employer regardless of the number of positions held by the employee. If a covered employee holds multiple positions for one employer, that employee would accrue 1 hour of Earned Paid Leave for every 40 hours worked for that single employer.

Answer: The minimum standard set by this law is that a covered employee must earn 1 hour of Earned Paid Leave for every 40 hours worked, accruing up to 40 hours of Earned Paid Leave per year. It is at the discretion of the employer if they will permit the accrual and use of leave in smaller increments