Updating the Maine labor law posters should be on every employer’s to do list as 2008 approaches.
Compared to many other states, Maine requires employers to display only a few posters. California requires employers to provide the most information, with every employer mandated to display a dozen posters. However, there are still a few posters that employers are required to display.
An employer who does not display the proper 2008 Maine labor law posters may face penalties and fines.
The official list of updated 2008 Maine labor law posters is:
- Child Labor/Family Medical Leave/Wage Payment
- Minimum Wage
- Whistleblowers’ Protection Act
- Discrimination Notice
- Video Display Terminal Law
- Workers’ Compensation
In addition, every employer in Maine must display a number of labor law posters required by federal law. For the most part, these posters address statutes that are nationwide. They include:
- USERRA – Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
- Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law
- Federal Minimum Wage
- Employee Polygraph Protection Act
- Family and Medical Leave Act
- OSHA-Job Safety & Health Protection
Labor law poster serve as a handy reminder for supervisors and employees alike.
They provide important information on the minimum wage, worker safety, medical leave and child labor laws.
Under both federal and state law, these posters must be updated each time there is a change in legislation.
A change in the federal minimum wage on July 24, 2007 required that the Federal Minimum Wage posters be updated. On that date, the federal minimum wage increased for the first time in more than a decade. The rate went from $5.15 per hour to $5.85 per hour, an increase of 70 cents.
The federal minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13 an hour. Kentucky, Indiana, and Nebraska among others follow the federal law. Some offer slightly higher rates – North Carolina at $2.43, Wisconsin at $2.33, Michigan at $2.65, and Massachusetts at $2.63.
Kansas’ rate is only $1.59 an hour for tipped employees.
Washington State offers no tip credit. There, tipped employees will get $8.07 an hour starting January 1. Hawaii’s tip credit is 25 cents. In other words, tipped employees get $7 an hour instead of the usual $7.25. Colorado tipped workers will get $4.02 in 2008.
Federal overtime laws require an overtime premium of 1.5 times the normal hourly rate for every hour over 40. Some states rely on federal law – Florida, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, and Arizona among them. The federal overtime law covers most, but not all, workers.
Nebraska extends both the federal minimum wage and overtime laws to all businesses with 4 or more workers. Kansas requires overtime after a 46-hour week and Minnesota after a 48-hour week.
California offers overtime after working 8 hours in a single day or 40 hours in a week. Employees who must work 7 days consecutively get overtime on the 7th day, and those working 12 or more hours in a day receive “double time.” Double-time is also offered after 8 hours on the 7th consecutive working day.
In Kentucky, workers get overtime either after 40 hours, or on the 7th consecutive day of work regardless of the number of hours they have put in. Colorado workers get overtime after 12 hours a day or 40 hours in a week. In Connecticut, only restaurant and hotel workers get overtime on the 7th day.
If you ask me, it would be a difficult task to make sure that every single employee in the entire state of Maine is aware of the ins and outs of all the labor laws that exist. But, in a certain sense, that’s what the Department of Labor expects to do. They are able to accomplish this by requiring all the employers in the state to display what is known as Maine ( ME ) Employment Labor Posters. These posters have the all the relevant labor laws printed on them. By posting them in a place that all employees can see them, like the break room, lunch room, or mail room, an employer is able to educated the employees in the various aspects of labor laws.
The laws that are required to be posted in Maine are: Child Labor/Family Medical Leave/Wage Payment Law, Minimum Wage Law, Whistleblowers’ Protection Act, Discrimination Notice, Video Display Terminal Law, and the Workers’ Compensation Law.
Those are the state requirements for employment labor posters. Next let’s talk about the Federal posting requirements, because the Federal government has their own requirements as well. These include the following posters: USERRA – Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law, Federal Minimum Wage, Employee Polygraph Protection Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and OSHA-Job Safety & Health Protection.
Everyone has a responsibility with regard to these Maine Employment Labor Posters. The employer has the responsibility to post them and to keep abreast of what the current laws are. He or she must replace them often because the laws are constantly being reviewed and updated. Employees have the responsibility to read and understand the posters, and to take note when they’ve been updated so they can fully follow the scope of the laws.
Employers throughout Maine are required to display the labor law posters for Maine in their businesses. The required state and federal postings depend on the type and size of the business. The labor law posters for Maine must be displayed in an area where all employees will be able to easily see them. They also need to be where employees are known to gather. For larger businesses it may be necessary to display the labor law posters for Maine in more than one location.
The labor law posters for Maine don’t need to be updated every year. In fact, they only need to be changed when there is a change in the law. For example, one of the required postings is the Minimum Wage poster. On October 1, 2005, the minimum wage in Maine increased to $6.25 an hour. Therefore, employers needed to make sure they changed that particular poster so that it contained the correct information.
The other required state postings for the labor law posters for Maine are the Whistleblower’s Protection Act, the Video Display Terminal Poster, Workers’ Compensation, Regulation of Employment, Child Labor Laws and Occupational Safety and Health Regulations. Again, not every poster is required in all businesses. For example, the Occupational and Health Regulations is only required in public sector workplaces.
The optional state postings for the labor law posters for Maine are the Maine Human Rights – Equal Employment Rights poster, the Equal Pay Poster, and the Domestic Violence in the Workplace Poster. The Maine Employment Security Act poster must be displayed in any business that must pay the Maine unemployment tax.
Employers need to make sure they always display the state and federal labor law posters for Maine in the appropriate areas. The employers also must ensure that they display the most up-to-date posters. Failure to do either of these is against the law.
As Maine’s unemployment rates raises slightly, more employers are using services that provide labor law posters for Maine to avoid fines and meet the mandatory state and federal posting regulations.
Those regulations were highlighted as State Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman announced that the preliminary seasonally adjusted July unemployment rate for Maine was 4.8 percent compared to 4.9 percent a year ago. Both the national and Maine unemployment rates rose from 4.6 percent in June to 4.8 percent in July.
“The trend of slow job growth continued in Maine as the number of seasonally-adjusted non-farm wage and salary jobs rose by 1,200 between June and July to 614,900. Small gains were recorded by most of the major industries. The only job loss was recorded by government,” explained Commissioner Fortman.
Between July 2005 and July 2006, the total number of non-farm wage and salary jobs rose by 3,300. Job gains were recorded in professional and business services, health care and social assistance, local government, and construction. Job losses were primarily in manufacturing. Other New England states reporting a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July include New Hampshire, 3.6 percent; Connecticut, 4.3 percent; Massachusetts, 4.7 percent; and Rhode Island, 5.6 percent. The adjusted national rate for July was 4.8 percent, up from 4.6 percent for June and down from 5.0 percent for July 2005.
With unemployment on a slight upturn, it is vitally important that all employers properly display the mandated posters on Unemployment Insurance. Services can provide accurate, newly updated posters on each of the topics mandated by the State of Maine, including:
Child Labor/Family Medical Leave/Wage Payment
Whistleblowers’ Protection Act
Video Display Terminal Law
The Maine Complete Labor Law Poster also provides the labor posters required by the Federal government, including the USERRA – Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law, Federal Minimum Wage, Employee Polygraph Protection Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and OSHA – Job Safety and Health Protection Posters.
There are particular Maine (ME) Posting Requirements for Employers that all employers are bound by. If you are an employer in Maine, you should know that you are legally responsible for posting your employees’ labor law rights in a place that is visible and easily accessible by all emplpoyees. These labor law posters must be replaced when labor laws are updated. For this reason, it is important that employers stay on top of changes in the labor law fields.
When the employer posts the labor laws, they must keep in mind that if the labor law poster is removed or damaged, it is the responsibility of the employer to replace the labor law poster as quickly as possible so that employees can continue to have access to information about their labor law rights.
In the state of Maine, the following labor laws are required to be posted for all employers: Unemployment Insurance, Workers’ Compensation, Minimum Wage, Regulation of Employment, Sexual Harassment, and Whistleblowers Protection Act. Additionally, there are some laws that are not required to be posted, but they are recommended, such as the Equal Employment Rights law. Some laws must be posted only by some (but not all) employees. These laws are: the Child Labor Law (which is required by all employers employing workers under the age of 18), The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, which is required only for government agencies and the Video Display Terminal Law, which is required for all employers with employees spending more than four hours per day at a VDT.
Labor law posters not only give employees information about labor laws that may apply to them, but they also provide employees with contact information for state agencies that will manage their cases if they are in a situation that is illegal. For this reason, labor law posters are a necessary and critical component to any workplace.