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Hurricane Lee Emergency Declaration Triggers Portland Hazard Pay for Some Workers.

Hurricane Lee Emergency Declaration Triggers Portland Hazard Pay for Some Workers

September 15, 2023

On September 14, 2023, Maine Governor Janet Mills declared a state of emergency in anticipation of Hurricane Lee’s imminent arrival.  The declaration temporarily increases wages for many non-exempt employees in Portland, Maine.

Because of Portland’s minimum wage referendum, passed by voters in 2020, during a declared emergency, all employers with a place of business within Portland city limits must pay any employees who physically work within Portland city limits no less than the hazard pay minimum wage, which is 50% above the current regular minimum wage.  Employees who may perform work in Portland for employers who do not have a place of business in Portland are not subject to this local ordinance.

Thus, effective September 14, Portland’s minimum wage is temporarily $21.00 per hour for non-tipped employees and $10.50 per hour, plus tips, for tipped employees.

Employees who are “exempt” under Maine’s state minimum wage law are exempt from the ordinance.  This includes most agricultural employees, outside sales employees, taxi drivers, camp counselors, most fishermen, home workers, family members, salaried executives, salaried administrative employees, salaried professionals, and most prison labor employees. Remote workers who work for Portland-based employers but are not physically located within Portland city limits are also exempt from the ordinance.

Hazard pay will remain in effect for the duration of the emergency.

For more than sixty years, The Bennett Law Firm has been a leader on matters of labor and employment law.  For questions or for more information on this issue, please contact:

Peter Bennett (pbennett@thebennettlawfirm.com) or
Rick Finberg (rfinberg@thebennettlawfirm.com)

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