The minimum wage has been making headlines in recent years, and as a growing number of people advocate for higher wages, more states are passing legislation to increase the minimum wage — including the state of Maine. Currently, the minimum wage in Maine is $12 per hour, but it’s not quite that simple.
Maine’s new minimum differs greatly in comparison to the rate set by the federal and other state governments, and even from certain local jurisdiction within Maine. It can be difficult to keep track of, but here’s the most up-to-date information we’ve got on the minimum wage in Maine:
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2020 Minimum Wage in Maine: $12.00 per hour
As of January 1, 2020, the minimum wage in the state of Maine is $12 per hour. This is $4.75 higher than the federal minimum wage. This rate doesn’t apply to salaried employees, only hourly ones. Even then, this rate does not apply to all hourly employees; certain groups, such as tipped workers, are exempt from the minimum wage, and they are not entitled to this rate. Other exempt employees include agricultural and farm workers, taxicab drivers, fisherpeople, seasonal recreation camp workers, and immediate family members of the employer.
Maine differs from several other states, including Alaska and Colorado, in that it does not allow a lower minimum wage for students or minors. Some states also offer a lower rate to workers for the first 90 days of employment, but Maine requires newly hired employees to be paid the standard $12 per hour.
Tipped: $6.00 per hour
In Maine, tipped employees earn at least $6 per hour, plus tips. Employers can take a $6 tip credit, with the expectation that workers will earn at least that much, if not more, in tips during the course of their shift. Tipping etiquette isn’t always clear, though, so in the event that a tipped worker doesn’t earn at least $6.00 per hour in tips, their employer must make up the difference so they are paid $12.00 per hour.
Weekly: $480.00 per week
Employees who are paid the minimum wage in the state of Maine can earn $480 each week. This is the maximum amount they can make during the standard 40-hour workweek. However, this does not account for any variations in schedule, overtime or holiday pay, or withholdings, so actual take-home pay will likely be different.
Annually: $24,960.00 per year
Employees who receive minimum wage in Maine can earn $24,960 annually. Again, actual take-home pay will vary, as this amount does not account for any withholdings or tax deductions. This also assumes that employees work full, 40-hour weeks for each week of the year. Any time taken off for illness or vacation will reduce the actual amount earned.
Overtime: $17.50 per hour
When working overtime, employees in Maine receive at least 1.5 times their regular wage. Workers who earn the minimum wage receive $17.50 when overtime goes into effect. In Maine, there is no daily threshold for overtime. Employees must work more than 40 hours in a single week to be paid the overtime rate.
Tipped employees receive overtime pay based on the full minimum; employers cannot base their overtime rate on the tipped wage. They also cannot take out a larger tip credit for an overtime hour than for a regular hour.
City vs. State Minimum Wages
Similar to how states may have a different minimum wage from the federal rate, certain cities in Maine have set their own minimum wage that differs from the statewide rate. When wage rates differ in this way, workers are generally entitled to the higher rate. For instance, because Maine’s state wage is higher than that of the federal government, hourly workers in Maine will receive the statewide wage instead.
The cities of Bangor and Portland have passed their own local minimum wage ordinances. The minimum wage in these cities changes annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), and, at times, it may either be higher or lower than the statewide wage. Employees in Bangor and Portland are entitled to the statewide wage if it is higher than the local rate. However, if the local minimum wage is higher than the rate set by the state of Maine, employees must be paid the higher local rate.
Bangor: $9.95 per hour
In the city of Bangor, Maine, the minimum wage is $9.95 per hour. Bangor has tied its minimum wage to the CPI, and will alter the rate annually to accommodate any changes in inflation. Though this is $2.70 higher than the federal rate, it is $2.05 lower than the statewide minimum wage. At this rate, employees in Bangor can expect to earn $403.25 per week and $20,696 per year (again, not including withholdings, overtime or holiday pay, or time off).
Portland: $11.12 per hour
The city of Portland, Maine also has its own minimum wage of $11.12 per hour. The minimum wage in Portland is also tied to the CPI and may either increase or decrease each year to reflect changes in inflation. This is only $0.88 lower than the statewide minimum wage, and it’s $3.87 higher than the federal rate. Employees in Portland can earn $444.80 per week and $23,129.60 per year, though these amounts don’t account for any withholdings, time off, or overtime or holiday pay.
Maine Minimum Wage Increase News
Statute 664 outlines how the minimum wage is set to increase year over year in the state of Maine. When it was signed into law by Governor Paul LePage in 2017, the minimum wage was $7.50 per hour, and it has increased in the following increments:
- To $9 per hour in January 2017;
- To $10 per hour in January 2018;
- To $12 per hour in January 2020.
Starting in January 2021, the minimum wage will be raised annually to reflect any increases in the cost of living. This will help ensure that all non-exempt hourly employees in Maine earn a living wage.
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