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COMPLIANCE ALERTS: State Minimum Wage/Salary Increases & E-Verify Services Temporarily Unavailable

Maine Minimum Wage and Exempt Salary Increases January 1, 2019

Effective January 1, 2019, Maine’s minimum hourly wage increased to $11.00 per hour. The maximum tip credit and the minimum salary for employees exempt from minimum wage and overtime requirements also increased effective January 1.

  • The direct hourly wage for tipped service workers, who regularly receive more than $30 a month in tips, and the maximum tip credit have both increased from $5.00 to $5.50 per hour. If the employee’s direct wage combined with earned tips do not average, on a weekly basis, the state required minimum wage, the employer must pay the difference.
  • The minimum salary for exempt, salaried employees will rise to $634.62 per week effective January 1 which annualizes to $33,000. Maine law specifies that employers must pay a minimum annual salary that exceeds 3,000 times the minimum hourly wage or the annualized rate established by the United States Department of Labor under the federal FLSA, whichever is higher.
Effective Date Maine Minimum Hourly Wage Maine Minimum Direct Service Hourly Wage Maine Maximum Hourly Tip Credit
1/1/2018 $10.00 $5.00 $5.00
1/1/2019 $11.00 $5.50 $5.50
1/1/2020 $12.00 $6.00 $6.00
1/1/2021 Tied to Consumer Price Index (CPI) $6.00 + 1/2 the CPI $6.00 + 1/2 the CPI

For City of Portland employers, as of July 1, 2018, Portland’s minimum wage is $10.90 per hour and is connected to the CPI, per local ordinance. Portland’s minimum wage ordinance may exceed the state minimum wage on July 1, 2019. Employers must pay the higher of the state or local minimum wage rate.

Employer Action: We recommend employers review their employee pay rates to ensure compliance. Now is also a great time to ensure your employment posters are up-to-date including the new state minimum wage poster. Maine law includes penalties for not meeting employment posting requirements. Please see the state of Maine website for more information and free employment posters which may be downloaded.

Maine Minimum Wage Info

Employment Posters Info

E-Verify and E-Verify Services Are Unavailable

With the federal government shutdown, E-Verify and E-Verify services are currently unavailable due to the lapse in government appropriations.

E-Verify Accounts Inaccessible

While E-Verify is unavailable, employers will not be able to access their E-Verify accounts to:

  • Enroll in E-Verify;
  • Create an E-Verify case;
  • View or take action on any case;
  • Add, delete or edit any user account;
  • Reset passwords;
  • Edit company information;
  • Terminate accounts; and
  • Run reports.

Also, employees will be unable to resolve E-Verify Tentative Non-confirmations (TNCs).

E-Verify Policies Implemented to Minimize Impact

To minimize the burden on both employers and employees, the following policies have been implemented:

  • The “three-day rule” for creating E-Verify cases is suspended for cases affected by the unavailability of E-Verify.
  • The time period during which employees may resolve TNCs will be extended. The number of days E-Verify is not available will not count toward the days the employee has to begin the process of resolving their TNCs.
  • Guidance regarding “three-day rule” and time period to resolve TNCs deadlines will be provided once operations resume.
  • Employers may not take adverse action against an employee because the E-Verify case is in an interim case status, including while the employee’s case is in an extended interim case status due to the unavailability of E-Verify.
  • Federal contractors with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause should contact their contracting officer to inquire about extending federal contractor deadlines.

Telephone and Email Support Unavailable

Form I-9 and E-Verify support representatives are not available to respond to inquiries.

Available E-Verify Resources

For employer assistance, several free E-Verify resources are still available:

Form I-9 Requirements

The lapse in government appropriations does not affect Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification requirements. Employers must still complete Form I-9 no later than the third business day after an employee starts work for pay, and comply with all other Form I-9 requirements outlined in the Handbook for Employers (M-274) and on I-9 Central.

For More Information

If you need help meeting these or other compliance requirements, contact KMA today.

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