Maine Wage and Hour Laws

There are both state and federal wage and hour laws that protect workers' rights in the United States. Wage and hour laws provide for how many hours an employee can work per day, as well as set a minimum wage that employees can be paid. This article provides a brief overview of Maine's wage and hour laws.

Code Section

Maine Revised Statutes section 664(1) & (2): Minimum Wage

What's Prohibited?

In most instances, employers may not pay an employee less than $7.50 per hour.

Maine's minimum wage law also provides for an automatic increase (up to $1) to match the federal minimum wage if the federal minimum wage exceeds $7.50 per hour.

Tipped Employees

Employers may consider tips as part of the wages of a service employee, but tip credit can't exceed 50% of the minimum hourly wage established in this section. The employer must be able to show that the employee receives a least the minimum hourly wage when wages and the tip credit are combined.

Penalties

Employers who violate this law can be punished by a fine of between $50 and $200.

Code Section

Maine Revised Statutes section 644(3): Overtime Pay

What's Prohibited?

An employer can't require an employee to work more than 40 hours in a week unless the employee is paid at a rate of at least 1½ times the employee's regular hourly rate for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in that week.

Exceptions

The overtime provision doesn't apply to:
  • Automobile mechanics, automobile parts clerks, automobile service writers, and automobile salespersons
  • Mariners
  • Public employees (except those employed by the executive or judicial branch of Maine)
  • The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment, or distribution of agricultural produce, meat and fish products, or perishable foods
  • Individuals employed by an egg processing facility that has over 300,000 birds, or
  • A driver who isn't paid hourly

Penalties

Employers who violate this law can be punished by a fine of between $50 and $200.

Rest Breaks

Maine's wage and hour laws also require employers to give their employees rest breaks. Most employees are only permitted to work for six consecutive hours at a time unless he is given the opportunity to take at least 30 consecutive minutes of rest.

The rest break requirement doesn't apply in emergency situations when there is danger to property, life, public safety, or public health. Additionally, this requirement doesn't apply to places of employment where fewer than three employees are on duty at one time and the nature of the work allows them frequent breaks during their work day.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding Maine's wage and hour laws contact a local employment lawyer.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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