HR Alert

New Maine Minimum Wage Will Take Effect January 7, 2017

Maine Also Announces Temporary Non-Enforcement Policy for Certain Laws

Maine has announced an effective date of January 7, 2017 for its new minimum wage rate, as well as a temporary non-enforcement policy for certain minimum wage laws.

Minimum Wage Requirements
In 2016, Maine voters approved an initiative that increases the state minimum wage. Under the initiative, the minimum wage will rise to $9.00 per hour (from $7.50 per hour). The increase is now scheduled to take effect January 7, 2017--30 days after the Governor has certified the election results (the increase was originally scheduled for January 1, 2017). Subsequent increases to the minimum wage are also scheduled.

Additionally, starting January 7, 2017, the minimum direct service wage for tipped employees also increases, from one-half the minimum wage (currently $3.75) to $5 per hour. The tip credit an employer may take in 2017 for service employees who customarily earn more than $30 a month in tips will be $4.00.

Temporary Non-Enforcement Policy
The Maine Department of Labor has also adopted a time-limited, non-enforcement policy for certain laws. From January 7, 2017, when the new minimum wage law is scheduled to go into effect, and until January 31, 2017, the Department is not expected to bring enforcement actions against any employer who fails to comply with the change in the tip credit or the minimum salary requirement for overtime-exempt workers ($519.24 per week--up from the federal minimum of $455 per week). However, employers are expected to follow the law and pay the minimum hourly wage of $9.

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