Employer Update: Latest on Minimum Wage, Marijuana, Maine-at-Work and more

Maine Department of Labor, call 207-623-7900 or visit www.maine.gov/laborEmployer Update. We want Maine's economy to grow by helping you succeed. Image of job seekers speaking with employers at a job fair.

New Minimum Wage and Overtime-Exempt Minimum Salary Take Effect in Maine Jan. 7

Labor Department will take temporary non-enforcement position on tip credit and minimum overtime-exempt salary pending legislative or federal action.

The Maine Department of Labor advises employers of their legal obligations to workers related to the passage of changes to the state minimum wage via the ballot initiative Question 4.

Minimum Wage Poster: Every employer must hang required posters where workers can easily see them. Download the 2017 Minimum Wage poster for free here. Posters can be posted in either color or black and white.

Employers with Tipped Employees: USDOL will now allow a higher tip credit for states with higher minimum wages. FIELD ASSISTANCE BULLETIN NO. 2016-4

Referendums and Salaried Workers: Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette and Julie Rabinowitz review the referendums in detail including marijuana and drug testing, as well as the federal overtime rule injunction on the HR Power Hour with David Ciullo. Take a listen!

State Overtime Exemption Salary Threshold: Even though federal overtime rule has been put on hold, Maine's minimum wage referendum will impact state overtime salary exemption threshold as well. Julie Rabinowitz provides clarification on the George Hale & Ric Tyler Show.

"Click for more" to read what employers need to know about the minimum wage law in Maine.

Click hear to read the rest of the article.

Portland Employers with Tipped Employees: USDOL will now allow a higher federal tip credit for states/municipalities with higher minimum wages; this policy means that Portland employers will not be found in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act when/if the tip credit exceeds $5.12 in 2017. FIELD ASSISTANCE BULLETIN NO. 2016-4

What Employers Need to Know about Marijuana Legalization

Personal use will be legal 30 days after the referendum results are certified by Governor LePageEmployers should be aware that the referendum included language relating to employment and could affect employers’ hiring, misconduct, workplace safety and substance testing policies:

  • 2. Employment policies. This chapter may not be construed to require an employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, trade, display, transportation, sale or growing of cannabis in the workplace. This chapter does not affect the ability of employers to enact and enforce workplace policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees or to discipline employees who are under the influence of marijuana in the workplace. 
  • 3. School, employer or landlord may not discriminate. A school, employer or landlord may not refuse to enroll or employ or lease to or otherwise penalize a person 21 years of age or older solely for that person's consuming marijuana outside of the school's, employer's or landlord's property.

Before the law takes effect, employers should review and adopt clearly written policies and procedures that are applied consistently. Discuss any changes or new policies with employees. Communicating your policies will help set expectations and boundaries for applicants and employees. Be sure to document how you advise employees of these changes.  You may also need to review how you define safety-sensitive positions and clarify expectations for those employees.

Employers interested in learning more about drug testing for applicants and employees should visit our website to ensure that they are following appropriate state and federal law. SafetyWorks! will also be offering new, no-cost Impairment Detection workshops for employers beginning in 2017.

The Department anticipates several changes will be made to the legalization statute during the upcoming legislative session; these may include changes to the employment-related provisions. Contact your local legislators for more information about this process.

    Maine At Work Initiative

    Need to Hire Skilled Employees? Upskill Staff? Help Funding Training?

    The Maine Department of Labor and its Workforce Partners provide a variety of employment and training services at no charge for businesses. We developed the Maine-at-Work Initiative to help employers and job seekers learn of the many resources available to them.

    "Click for more" to learn about the initiative and how to let us know your needs.

    Click here to read the rest of the article.

    Unemployment Compensation Logo

    2017 Tax Rate and Array Charts Available

    2017 New Employer Rate is 1.77% plus the CSSF Rate of 0.06% - Combined Rate of 1.83%. "Click for more" to get the latest charts.

    Click her to read more.

    Maine JobLink Logo

    Submitting H-2B Related Job Orders

    We've added a webpage to the Maine CareerCenter website with tips to help Employers/Agents submit their H-2B related online job orders through Maine JobLink. Check it out!

    Click her to read more.
    Safety Works

    Impairment Detection Training for Employers

    January 25, 8;30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    SafetyWorks Training Institute
    Central Maine Commerce Center
    45 Commerce Drive, Augusta, ME

    This no-cost training session is designed to help owners, managers and supervisors recognize and respond appropriately to employee impairment in the workplace in order to reduce worker accidents and injuries.

    Register HERE or "Click for more" to find class details. 

    More Free Workplace Classes.

    Click here to read the rest of the article.

    People meet with employers at a Careercenter job fair

    Upcoming Job Fairs

    Looking to exhibit? Contact the hosting CareerCenter.

    Click here for all CareerCenter job fairs.