Maine Employment Law Update – May 2018

Maine

Portland Minimum Wage

On July 1, 2018, the minimum wage in Portland, Maine increases to $10.90 per hour. The city released a letter notifying employers of the increase and a new minimum wage poster.

Read the city’s letter to employers and see the poster

Human Trafficking Awareness Signs Required for Certain Businesses

On May 2, 2018, the Maine legislature overrode the governor’s veto of S.P. 639, thereby requiring certain businesses and employers to conspicuously post public awareness signs informing the public and employees about the illegality of human trafficking and how to report it. The following entities must clearly post these signs where they are visible within the business and workplace:

  • A Maine Department of Labor career center.
  • An office that provides services under the Governor’s Jobs Initiative Program.
  • A hospital or facility providing emergency medical services.
  • An eating and lodging place.
  • An adult entertainment nightclub or bar, adult spa, establishment featuring strippers or erotic dancers, or other sexually oriented business.
  • A money transmitter.
  • A check cashing business or foreign currency exchange business.

Failure to post this signage is a civil violation and will be penalized by a fine of $300 per violation.

The law is effective July 31, 2018.

Read ME S.P. 639

Marijuana Legalization Act Amendments

On May 2, 2018, Maine Legislature overrode the governor’s veto (H.P. 1199) and enacted the Maine Marijuana Legalization Act, repealing prior law. Under the act, and except as otherwise provided in the Maine Medical Marijuana Act:

  • Employers are not required to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, trade, display, transportation, sale, or cultivation of marijuana in the workplace.
  • Employers may implement a workplace policy restricting the use of marijuana by employees in the workplace or while otherwise engaged in activities within the course and scope of employment.
  • Employers may discipline employees who are under the influence of marijuana in the workplace, or while otherwise engaged in activities within the course and scope of employment, in accordance with their workplace policies regarding employee use of marijuana and marijuana products.

The act regulates the use of marijuana by a person licensed (a licensee) to run a marijuana establishment and its premises. A licensee may allow an employee who is a qualifying patient under the medical marijuana law to privately consume marijuana and marijuana products for medical use within its licensed premises. A licensee may not:

  • Allow an employee to otherwise consume adult use marijuana or adult use marijuana products within its licensed premises or while the employee is otherwise engaged in activities within the course and scope of employment. Adult use marijuana does not include medical use marijuana.
  • Employ anyone under age 21.

A person may not consume adult use marijuana or adult use marijuana products within the licensed premises of a marijuana establishment, and a licensee may not allow any person to consume adult use marijuana or adult use marijuana products within its licensed premises.

The act also regulates products manufacturing facilities. A products manufacturing facility licensee and its employees may sample adult use marijuana and adult use marijuana products manufactured at the licensed premises of the products manufacturing facility for quality control, product research, and product development. However, the licensee may not otherwise allow the consumption of adult use marijuana or adult use marijuana products within the licensed premises, and the authorized sampling of adult use marijuana and adult use marijuana products may not involve the consumption of marijuana or marijuana products via smoking.

The law became effective on May 2, 2018.

Read ME H.F. 1199