Like employers in every state, Maine employers must follow the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows eligible employees to take unpaid leave, with the right to reinstatement, for certain reasons.
Maine law also gives employees additional leave rights, as explained below. Employees are entitled to the protections of all applicable laws; if more than one law applies, the employee may use the most beneficial provisions.
Maine employees who are eligible may take up to 12 weeks of leave for serious health conditions, bonding with a new child, or preparation for a family member's military service; more leave is available for employees who need to care for a family member who was seriously injured on active military duty. For detailed information on FMLA leave, see Taking Family and Medical Leave.
Maine employers are subject to the FMLA if they have at least 50 employees for at least 20 weeks in the current or previous year.
Employees are eligible for FMLA leave if:
FMLA leave is available if an employee needs time off to:
Maine employees may take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for a serious health condition, bonding with a new child, or qualifying exigencies. This leave is available every 12 months, as long as the employee continues to meet the eligibility requirements explained above.
Employees may take up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period for military caregiver leave. However, this is a per-injury, per-service member entitlement. Unless the same family member is injured again, or another family member suffers an injury while on active duty, an employee may not take additional leave for this purpose.
Employees are entitled to continue their health insurance while on leave, at the same cost they must pay while working. FMLA leave is unpaid, but employees may be allowed (or required) to use their accrued paid leave during FMLA leave.
When an employee’s FMLA leave ends, the employee is entitled to be reinstated to the same or an equivalent position, with a few exceptions.
In addition to the rights granted by the FMLA, Maine employees have the right, under state law, to take time off for certain family and medical reasons.
Employers with more than 15 employees must give eligible employees up to ten weeks off in a two-year period for:
Family members include domestic partners, children of domestic partners, and siblings.
Employers with at least 15 employees must provide at least 15 days of leave, per deployment, to eligible employees who are the spouse, domestic partner, or parent of a state resident deployed for military service lasting more than 180 days. Employees may take leave:
All employers must give eligible employees who have been a victim of violence, assault, sexual assault, stalking, or domestic violence (or whose parent, spouse, or child has been a victim) reasonable and necessary leave to:
You can find information on these Maine leave laws at the website of the Maine Department of Labor.