Dept. of Labor to Hold Listening Sessions on Paid Time Off Rulemaking Bookmark and Share

September 30, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Media Contact: Jessica Picard, Maine Department of Labor, Jessica.l.picard@maine.gov or 207-621-5099

Dept. of Labor to Hold Listening Sessions on Paid Time Off Rulemaking

The Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) is preparing for the required rulemaking process for LD 369 "An Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave" (often referred to as the Earned Paid Time Off Bill). The Legislature enacted the bill May 16 and Governor Mills signed it on May 28 of this year; the law goes into effect on January 1, 2021.

As part of the process, MDOL will hold a series of public listening sessions throughout the state to hear feedback from the public on what questions they would like addressed during the rulemaking process.

The first listening session will be on Wednesday, October 2 at 7:30 a.m. at Caf Sorpreso, 415 Main Street, Presque Isle.

The session will be part of The Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce's monthly Eggs & Issues series. To RSVP, call 764-6561 or email info@CentralaroostookChamber.com.

Future listening sessions are being planned throughout the state, including in Bangor, Biddeford, Lewiston, Machias, Portland, and Rockland. These listening sessions are an opportunity to provide information that the department can consider in drafting the rules. A formal public hearing will be held at a later date once draft rules are published. We are looking forward to working collaboratively with both employers and workers during the rulemaking process, Laura Fortman, Commissioner of the Department of Labor, said. We are committed to a thorough and open process. The effective date of January 1, 2021 provides time for us to work together on this important policy which will allow many Maine workers five days of earned paid leave.

The legislation guarantees earned time off for employees who work for a business with 11 or more employees. Small businesses with 10 or fewer employees and seasonal employers who regularly operate less than 26 weeks in a calendar year are exempt.

The bill required the Maine Department of Labor to promulgate rules to ensure the legislation can be implemented and enforced appropriately. This process will include posting of the draft rules prior to a public comment period. The Department will ensure that final rules are posted with sufficient time for employers to prepare for changes, if any are needed, in their earned leave policies.

The law requires that an employee earn one hour of paid leave from a single employer for every 40 hours worked, up to 40 hours in one year of employment. This leave can be used for any purpose by the worker, however they are required to give their employer as reasonable notice as is possible. The rules written will provide guidance to employers as well as workers who benefit from the earned paid time off. The Maine Department of Labor will also provide new posters to employers outlining guidance for the rule.

If you would like to be updated during the process, please email bls.mdol@maine.gov and ask to be placed on the Earned Paid Time Off rules mailing list.

The effective date of this law is January 1, 2021.

A link to the chaptered law (Public Law 156) may be found at the link below: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=SP0110&item=4&snum=129

The Maine Department of Labor is an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available to individuals with disabilities upon request.