A December 15
press release from the Maine Department of Labor advises Maine employers of their legal
obligations to workers now that changes to the state minimum wage have
been passed via the ballot initiative Question 4.
Here is what you need to know about the new minimum wage law in Maine,
effective January 7, 2017:
- Affected employers include any business operating in the state of Maine
with one employee, including all public or private employers regardless
of size or profit.
- The minimum wage for overtime-eligible employees will be $9 per hour. The
new minimum salary for overtime-exempt employees will be $519.24 per week.
- Employers will reserve the right to allow or deny overtime, but if overtime
is worked, it must be compensated at a rate of 1.5 times the regular rate
of pay. Different pay methods acceptable under state and federal law can
be found here.
- Beginning on January 7, the minimum direct service wage for tipped employees
must be increased to $5 per hour and increase by an additional $1 per
hour each year until it reaches the same amount as the annually adjusted
state minimum wage. Employers may take a $4 tip credit in 2017 for service
employees who customarily earn more than $30 a month in tips.
- All employers are required to display the most recent state and federal
minimum wage poster. These posters can be found on the Maine.gov website.
- From January 7 through January 31, the department will not take enforcement
actions against employers who fail to comply with the changes to the minimum
salary requirement or the tip credit. However, employees may take private
action if they feel they have been harmed by an employer’s actions.
It is advised that affected employees consult with an attorney to learn
more about their rights in this situation.
For legal guidance on matters related to this change in the law, we encourage you to
contact Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. Our Maine employment law attorneys would be
happy to review your case and help you understand your rights and obligations.