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Hiring

Advertising
What are the requirements relating to advertising open positions?

No laws imposing specific requirements on advertising open positions exist.

Background checks
What can employers do with regard to background checks and inquiries?

(a)Criminal records and arrests

Maine employers may inquire about an applicant’s criminal convictions related to the job. Some roles require criminal conviction record checks:

  • education personnel (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 20-A §6103);
  • childcare and home daycare workers (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 22 §§8302-A to 8302 –B; 10-148 Code Me. R. Ch. 32, §§1-28);
  • security guards (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 32 §§9401-9418);
  • temporary nurse agencies (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 22 §§2136-2139);
  • adult daycare programs (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 22 §§8601-8606); and
  • veterans’ adult day healthcare programs (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 22 §§9001-9005).

(b)Medical history

Employers may not ask about an applicant’s physical or mental disability or about genetic information (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 5 §4572 (1)).   

(c)Drug screening

Drug screening in Maine must be conducted pursuant to a drug testing policy approved by the Maine Department of Labor and must also comply with the Maine Substance Abuse Testing Law (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 26 §§ 681-690).

(d)Credit checks

Under the Maine Fair Credit Reporting Act, employers must first disclose that a report will be requested and obtain the applicant’s written consent. The notice must not contain any other information. For investigative consumer reports, employers must also notify an applicant that he or she has the right to request and obtain (within five business days) a detailed written description of the employer’s investigation and may request and receive copies of the investigative report from the consumer reporting agency. Before an employer takes adverse action based on a consumer or investigative report, it must give the applicant a copy of the report and a summary of rights from the Federal Trade Commission (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 10 §1311-1330).       

(e)Immigration status

Maine employers must use the Federal I-9 Form to verify work authorization in the United States.           

(f)Social media

Pursuant to Maine’s Employee Social Media Privacy Law (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 26 §615) an employer may not:

  • require or coerce an applicant to disclose, or request that an applicant disclose, the password or any other means of accessing a personal social media account;
  • require or coerce an applicant to access, or request that an applicant access, a personal social media account in the presence of the employer or an agent of the employer;
  • require or coerce an applicant to disclose any personal social media account information;
  • require or cause an applicant to add anyone, including the employer or an agent of the employer, to the applicant’s list of contacts associated with a personal social media account;
  • require, cause or request an applicant to alter settings that affect a third party’s ability to view the contents of a personal social media account; or
  • fail or refuse to hire an applicant as a result of the applicant’s refusal to disclose or provide access to the information specified above or refusal to add anyone to his or her list of contacts associated with a personal social media account, or to alter the settings associated with a personal social media account.     

(g)Other

N/A.

Wage and hour

Pay
What are the main sources of wage and hour laws in your state?

Wage and hour laws are covered by Title 26 of the Maine Revised Statutes, Sections 621-A, 664, 629, and 771-785.

What is the minimum hourly wage?

The minimum wage in Maine is $7.50 per hour, subject to an indexing exception based on the federal minimum wage (26 M.R.S.A. §664(1)).

Certain cities in Maine have also enacted local ordinances raising the minimum wage for employees working within the city.

What are the rules applicable to final pay and deductions from wages?

Employees leaving employment, regardless of the reason, must be paid by the next regularly scheduled pay date or two weeks after the employee makes a demand for payment—whichever comes first (26 M.R.S.A. §626).

Employers may require employees to return wages only for:

  • payment of loans, debts, or advances;
  • payments for merchandise purchased from the employer;
  • sick or accident benefits;
  • life or group insurance premiums that the employee agrees to pay; and
  • rent, light, or water expenses of the company that owns the house or building (26 M.R.S.A. §629(1)).

Debt does not include:

  • expenses incurred by the employee on the employer’s behalf;
  • uniforms;
  • personal protective equipment;
  • other tools of the trade considered primarily for the benefit or convenience of the employer; and
  • expenses incurred by the employee during his or her work on the employer’s behalf (26 M.R.S.A. §629(2)).

Hours and overtime
What are the requirements for meal and rest breaks?

An employee must be allowed 30 consecutive minutes of rest time after six consecutive hours of work. The rest period may be paid or unpaid. Some exceptions apply to small businesses or in cases of emergency (26 M.R.S.A. §601).

Employers must allow nursing mothers to take “adequate” breaks to express breast milk, either during unpaid time or paid break or meal times, for up to three years after childbirth. Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide a clean room or location, not including a bathroom, where such a mother may express breast milk in private (26 M.R.S.A. §604).

What are the maximum hour rules?

Non-exempt employees may not be employed for more than 40 hours in a working week without receiving one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay (26 M.R.S.A. §664(3)). An employer cannot require an employee to work more overtime after 80 hours in a consecutive two-week period (26 M.R.S.A. §603).

When school is in session, children under the age of 18 who are enrolled in school may not work:

  • before 5:00am;
  • more than six hours per day;
  • more than 24 hours per week
  • more than six consecutive days;
  • after 10:15pm on any day preceding a school day; or
  • after midnight on any day not preceding a school day (26 M.R.S.A. §774(1)).

When school is not in session, children under the age of 18 who are enrolled in school may not work:

  • before 7:00am;
  • more than 10 hours per day; and
  • more than 50 hours per week (26 M.R.S.A. §774(1)).

Children under the age of 16 may not work more than:

  • three hours per day and 18 hours per week when school is in session;
  • eight hours per day and 40 hours per week when school is not in session;
  • six consecutive days;
  • between the hours of 7:00pm and 7:00am, except during summer vacation, when they may not work between the hours of 9:00pm and 7:00am (26 M.R.S.A. §774(2)).

How should overtime be calculated?

Overtime is calculated based on the employee’s regular hourly rate, which includes:

  • earnings;
  • bonuses;
  • commissions; and
  • any other compensation, except sums that are excluded from the definition of “regular rate” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (26 M.R.S.A. §664(3)).

What exemptions are there from overtime?

The following workers are exempt from overtime requirements:

  • various individuals who work with and sell automobiles;
  • mariners;
  • public employees, except those in the executive or judicial branches of the state;
  • individuals who process agricultural produce (e.g., meat and fish products and perishable goods (subject to some exceptions for the egg processing industry)); and
  • drivers or drivers’ helpers subject to 49 U.S.C. §31502 (26 M.R.S.A. §664(3)).

The following workers are exempt from the mandatory overtime requirements:

  • those who perform work in response to a governor’s emergency declaration;
  • employees who perform essential services to the public;
  • employees whose work is necessary to protect the public health or safety (but only when excess overtime is required);
  • salaried employees who work in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity and whose regular compensation, when converted to an annual rate, exceeds 3,000 times the state’s minimum hourly wage or the annualized rate established by the U.S. Department of Labor under the Fair Labor Standards Act—whichever is higher;
  • employees of a seasonal employer;
  • employees who work for an employer that shuts down an operation for annual maintenance; and
  • employees who work in the construction, rebuilding, maintenance, or repair of production machinery and equipment (26 M.R.S.A. §603(3)).

Record keeping
What payroll and payment records must be maintained?

Employers in Maine must keep a true and accurate record of the hours worked by each employee and the wages paid to each employee for at least three years. Employers must also keep records for every employee showing the dates and payment amounts and a record of hours worked each day by each employee, except employees who are paid a fixed salary (26 M.R.S.A. §665).

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