BANGOR- More time off sounds nice, but new legislation surrounding earned leave is giving employers a headache.
“We’ve had a lot of interest and inquires from employers over this whole paid time leave and what that looks like and they want to make sure their in compliance,” said Deb Neuman, the president of the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce.
Last spring, lawmakers passed an act authorizing earned employee leave.
It grants employees 1 hour of paid time off for every 40 hours worked.
“With such an important law, we anticipated many questions and wanted to make sure we heard those before we sat down and started to draft,” said Evelyn deFrees, the director of external affairs at the Maine Department of Labor.
The legislation leaves specific rules about how employees can use those hours and who’s eligible for them to be determined by the department of labor.
Wednesday night. employers expressed specific concerns about things such as seasonal employees and how these hours would rollover.
“It’s a wonderful undertaking,” said Twila Tomlin, the manager of human resources at OHI in Bangor. “I just hope we’ve through it through for those folks who are per diem and only work 6 to 10 hours a month, or the additional administrative burden this could place on employers.”
The next listening session will be held in Farmington on December 2.
“We are completely committed to a thorough and transparent process,” deFrees added. “That’s really why it’s been so important for us to get out and meet with people.”
Once the department of labor finishes drafting rules, there will be public hearings next spring.