Nobody ever said running a business was a walk in the park. As an employer, you have a lot of balls in the air, and compliance is just one of them. One really, really important one that, if dropped, could cost you a whole lot of money.
In addition to federal regulations, each state has their own share of employment related laws that business owners need to be aware of. Here, we’re highlighting some of these key state-specific requirements and laws, and offering guidance to help you keep up.
Bear in mind, this list is not comprehensive, and there may be local or industry-specific employment requirements that your business needs to comply with. It’s best to consult with counsel to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, as Justworks does not provide legal advice.
Payroll Tax Accounts
Because Justworks reports state unemployment taxes on your behalf, Justworks may need to collect account information such as your account number and current rate. You can read more about it here: State Unemployment Insurance.
Recruiting & Hiring Practices
Salary History Ban
Maine employers are prohibited from asking candidates about current or prior compensation - including current or past salary or wages and benefits during the hiring process.
Maine Department of Labor (DOL): Compensation History
Mineral: Salary History Bans by State*
Maine employers are prohibited from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history on an initial application and must refrain from stating or suggesting that a candidate with a criminal history should not apply or will not be considered for a position.
Mineral: Maine Applicant and Employee Screening*
When classifying workers as employees or independent contractors, there are a few things to consider, including the different tests that apply under different federal and state employment laws, and potential penalties and other liabilities for misclassifying employees as independent contractors. Certain state laws apply tests that are more stringent than the guidance provided by federal agencies, such as the IRS and Department of Labor, to apply in conjunction with federal laws.
You can read our general Help Center article on contractors, and view information on how to determine if someone is a contractor or employee in Maine at the links below.
Maine has a statewide minimum wage that exceeds federal standards. Employers can find the most up-to-date minimum wage requirements from the Maine Department of Labor.
Additionally, employers may be subject to additional minimum wage ordinances in the following localities:
Mineral: Maine Minimum Wage and Overtime*
Exempt Pay Requirements
Exempt employees in Maine are required to be paid a minimum salary set by the state in order to maintain their exempt status and continue to be exempt from overtime and other applicable wage and hour regulations. The exempt salary threshold in Maine is tied to minimum wage, and thus will change when the minimum wage does (typically annually).
Maine has exemption regulations that differ in some ways from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and employers should review when determining whether an employee is exempt from minimum wages and overtime requirements.
Maine DOL: Salaried Workers Guide
Most employees in Maine must be provided with at least 30 minutes of rest after 6 consecutive hours of work.
Mineral: Maine Meal and Rest Breaks*
Maine DOL: Frequently Asked Questions
Maine employers are mandated to ensure that employees of one gender are not paid less than their counterparts of another gender for work of comparable skill, effort, and responsibility.
Maine DOL: Labor Law Publications (see ‘Equal Pay’ section)
Mineral: Maine Pay Parity and Transparency*
Maine employers are required to provide accommodations for nursing employees. Reasonable unpaid break time (or paid break time, mealtime, or both) must be provided to employees to express breast milk for their nursing children for up to three years after the child's birth.
Maine Department of Health & Human Services: Nursing Workplace Support
Mineral: Maine Lactation Accommodation*
Earned Paid Leave
Private employers in Maine with more than 10 employees are required to offer up to 40 hours of paid leave to all employees annually. Unlike paid sick leave, this leave can be used for any reason.
Maine DOL: Earned Paid Leave
Paid Family and Medical Leave
Starting in 2026, covered employees in Maine will be able to receive partially paid leave benefits for qualifying reasons, for up to 12 weeks. Employer and employee contributions to the program will begin January 1, 2025, and benefits will be available for employees for leaves starting May 1, 2026 or later. Please monitor these timelines as dates are subject to change.
Maine DOL: Paid Family and Medical Leave
Harassment and Discrimination
In addition to protections under Federal law, Maine law requires covered employers to create a workplace environment free from discrimination and harassment based on a number of protected characteristics defined under state law.
Maine Human Rights Commission (HRC): Employment Discrimination
Harassment Training Requirements
Maine employers with 15 or more employees are required to provide sexual harassment prevention training to all employees, with additional training required for managers and supervisors. Managers and supervisory employees must be trained on their specific responsibilities, and methods they must follow to ensure immediate and appropriate corrective action in addressing sexual harassment complaints. Training must be conducted within one year of commencing employment or commencing supervisory duties.
Maine DOL: Sexual Harassment Education and Training
Maine HRC: Sexual Harassment Overview
Justworks customers have free access to a suite of trainings through our partnership with EVERFI, the offerings of which meet or exceed Maine’s minimum training standards.
Maine employers should familiarize themselves with specific compliance issues for separating employees. If you'd like to know how to separate with an employee within Justworks, please visit Terminating Employees.
Maine law requires employers with 11 or more employees to pay all accrued and unused vacation (accrued on or after January 1, 2023) to employees upon separation.
All employees in Maine must be paid their owed wages by the next regularly scheduled payday for the pay period worked, or within two weeks, whichever is earlier. This applies to both voluntary and involuntary separations, with or without notice.
If requested in writing by the employee, the employer must provide the reason for separation, in written form, to the employee within 15 days.
Mineral: Maine Separation*
Business Closings and Layoffs
Federal and Maine state laws impose certain notice and other obligations on covered businesses before conducting large-scale business closures, layoffs, or relocations. In Maine, businesses employing 100 or more employees must provide written notice at least 60 days before implementing a mass layoff, plant closing, or relocation. For more information, visit the links below.
U.S. Department of Labor: Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act Advisor
Maine DOL: Maine JobLink
Mineral: Maine Layoffs*
*Be sure you’re logged into your Justworks account with administrative permissions to access Mineral.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.