What to know about Paid Family Medical Leave in Maine:

What is Family Medical Leave?

Maine has its own family medical leave law, called the Maine Family Medical Leave Requirements Act (MFMLRA). You can take unpaid time off for: 

  • the birth or adoption of a child

  • your own serious health condition

  • caring for a family member with a serious health condition 

  • organ donation

  • the death or serious health condition of a family member while on active duty.

The law applies to all employers with at least 15 employees, and covers all employees who have worked for their employer for at least 12 consecutive months, no matter how many or how few hours they have worked. This means that all part-time workers who have worked at least one year for the employer are covered.

State of Maine

COVID-19 response

Paid Family Leave in Maine: 

Do I qualify for Paid Family Leave?

 

There is no paid family leave in Maine. While some businesses have disability insurance policies that allow for paid leave, there is no state mandated guarantee of paid leave.

Is there any paid leave policy in Maine?

An Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave requires private employers that employ 10 or more employees for more than 120 days in a calendar year to provide 1 hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours of paid leave per year. The new law will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

 

This law allows eligible employees to use the paid leave for any reason. Employees can start accruing leave on their first day of work but cannot use the leave until they’ve completed 120 days of employment.

However, the law exempts seasonal businesses, employers of employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement, employers that hire workers for fewer than 120 days, and employers with fewer than 10 employees.

 

Caring for Loved Ones

What is the policy for maternity leave?

 

The Maine Family Medical Leave Requirements Act (MFMLRA) allows employees to take unpaid time off after welcoming a new child into the world. 

How long is maternity leave?

 

Maine’s law provides less time off than the federal FMLA. Employees can take a total of ten weeks of family medical leave in a two-year period under state law (rather than 12 weeks off each year).

What is the policy for caring for a dying or sick loved one?

Maine’s family leave policy recognizes that family care needs go beyond caring for immediate family. It provides unpaid leave to care for a child, spouse, parent, sibling who lives with an employee, civil union partner, child of civil union partner, or non-dependent adult child.

How long can I take off to care for my loved one?

Employees can take a total of ten weeks of family medical leave in a two-year period under state law. This does not have to be in a row – talk to your employer about part time or intermittent leave.

Employer FAQ

Am I required to provide Family Medical Leave?

Maine’s Family Medical Leave Act applies to:

  • Private sector employers with 15 or more employees at one location within the state.

  • All state employers.

  • City, town and municipal agencies with 25 or more employees.

  • Any agent of an employer, the state, or a political subdivision of the state.

What about Paid Family Leave?

Maine does not have a paid family medical leave policy. However, beginning in 2021, public and private employers with 25 or more employees will be required to provide paid leave. If your employee works 120 days in a calendar year, you will be required to provide 1 hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours of paid leave per year.  

Why is providing Paid Family Leave important?

Paid family leave offers clear advantages to employers. It reduces the spread of illness and improves public health. The ability to take paid time off increases productivity, and labor force attachment upon the return to work. It also offers your employees economic security during important or traumatic life events.

 

Lack of paid leave policies could have detrimental economic effects on businesses, including a loss of talent (particularly female talent) due to high turnover rates and a loss of productivity, leading to a substantial loss of economic activity.

Employee FAQ

What can I take Family Medical Leave for?

Employers with more than 15 employees must give eligible employees up to ten weeks off in a two-year period for:

  • the birth or adoption of a child

  • the employee’s own serious health condition

  • caring for a family member with a serious health condition 

  • organ donation

  • the death or serious health condition of a family member while on active duty.

Am I eligible for Family Medical Leave?

 

Employees who have worked for the same employer for 12 consecutive months may take up to 10 weeks of unpaid family medical leave in any two-year period. More or less leave may be negotiated between employee and employer.

Is there a Paid Family Leave program? 

There is no paid family leave in Maine. While some businesses have disability insurance policies that allow for paid leave, there is no state mandated guarantee of paid leave.

 

However, beginning in 2021, public and private employers with 25 or more employees will be required to provide paid leave. If you work 120 days in a calendar year, your employer  will be required to provide 1 hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours of paid leave per year. 

How can Paid Family Medical Leave benefit me?

Paid leave offers important benefits to both employers and employees.

 

  • It reduces the spread of illness, increases productivity, and improves public health. 

  • Returning home, veterans and their families often struggle to maintain stable income. Access to paid leave can help relieve stress and reduce risks of suicide.

  • It’s also important to have the ability to take care of yourself and your loved ones in case of an emergency or an important life event, like the birth of a child. While time off is important, it’s hard to take that time if you can’t afford to go without a paycheck, which is the case for many working families.

© 2019 Mainers for Working Famililes