New Maine Laws That Went Into Effect January 1, 2021
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England radio personality and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
Some new laws went into effect in Maine when the calendar flipped to 2021.
Most of the new laws effect employees and employers. Here's a quick run-down of what they are.
Maine's mandatory paid leave for workers became law on January 1. This law lets workers collect one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year. This is only for businesses that have more than 10 employees.
Essentially, this is paid leave to be used for illness or emergencies and might be needed with the coronavirus still surging.
There was another law that was supposed to start on January 1, but it has been delayed. That's from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to ban single-use containers and plastic bags. It is well-intended and will work one day, but when the shutdown happened and takeout food became common, many people were using containers that would be banned. The ban is now delayed until July 1.
Also on January 1, the state's minimum wage went up 15 cents an hour from $12 to $12.15 per hour. That's a tiny increase compared to the annual dollar increases in previous three years, but going forward the new law is that there will be annual adjustments based on the cost of living index.
Kind boring new laws, unless of course you need some time away and still get paid!