News & Thought Leadership from Sulloway & Hollis

October 27, 2020

Maine’s New Earned Employee Leave Law – Temporary Employees

Under the State of Maine’s new Earned Employee Leave law (effective January 1, 2021), private employers with 10 or more employees must provide covered employees with one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked, capped at a maximum of 40 hours per year. Can a temporary employee qualify as a “covered employee”?

Can a temporary employee, placed in both New Hampshire and Maine within a year, receive paid leave while working outside of Maine? Can that employee take paid leave while on assignment outside of Maine?

In typical fashion, the answer is “it depends.”

Temporary employees who are placed in both Maine and New Hampshire will generally be regulated based on their “base of operations” or the “place from which the service is directed or controlled” as long as the employee conducts some work in the State of Maine. Also, where service is performed both within Maine and outside of Maine, and the work performed outside is merely incidental to the service within Maine (e.g., temporary), the work is deemed to be localized in Maine.

Therefore, when a temporary employee is placed and/or directed by a Maine-based company (or office) and that employee conducts some work in Maine, they are entitled to the accrual of paid leave under the new law for their work in both Maine and New Hampshire. Further, that employee would be permitted to use the accrued leave while working in either location, since throughout the course of the New Hampshire assignment, the employee is considered a Maine “covered employee.”

In order to make sure they are in compliance with this new law before year-end, employers should be reviewing their paid leave policies now.

The attorneys at Sulloway & Hollis are here to assist if you have questions regarding this new law. Our Labor and Employment Practice Group provides comprehensive counseling and legal services to employers across New England.