Maine Voters Approve Minimum Wage Increase
On November 8, 2016, Maine voters approved a ballot referendum to raise the state minimum wage from $7.50 per hour to $9 per hour in 2017, with $1 annual increases up to $12 per hour by 2020, and cost of living increases thereafter. The measure also raises the direct wage for service workers who receive tips from half the minimum wage to $5 in 2017, with annual $1 increases until it reaches the adjusted minimum wage.
Scheduled increases to the minimum wage are as follows:
- Effective January 1, 2017, $9 per hour.
- Effective January 1, 2018, $10 per hour.
- Effective January 1, 2019, $11 per hour.
- Effective January 1, 2020, $12 per hour.
- Effective January 1, 2021, increases will be based on increases in the cost of living.
Maine Voters Approve Recreational Marijuana
On November 8, 2016, Maine voters approved a ballot referendum (Question #1) permitting the recreational use of marijuana by individuals 21 and older.
Employers should be aware that while the law allows them to prohibit possession or use of marijuana in the workplace, it also expressly prohibits discrimination against an employee for marijuana use.