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Maine Family And Medical Leave Law


Employees in the state of Maine are protected by a state law that is similar to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Below is a brief summary of the state law.

If you are considering taking leave, consult with your Human Resource Office for additional details - preferably with a supervisor to help assure accuracy. It would also be helpful to get the advice in writing if you can.


Who Is Eligible?

All employees who:

  1. Have been employed by the same employer for 12 consecutive months, and
  2. Whose employer employs 15 or more employees at one location in the state (the federal FMLA covers only employers with at least 50 employees).

How Many Days of Personal Leave Do I Get? 

Eligible employees are entitled to 10 consecutive work weeks of family medical leave in any 2 year period. 

What Is A Legitimate Reason for Leave? 

You may take family medical leave due to:

  1. Your own serious health condition;
  2. The serious health condition of a child, parent or spouse;
  3. The birth of your child;
  4. The placement of a child (16 years old or younger) with you in connection with the adoption of the child; or
  5. Your donation of a transplant organ.

Will I Get Paid During My Leave?

Maine's family medical leave is unpaid leave. However, if your employer provides a certain amount of paid family or medical leave, you can use that leave as part of your 10 weeks. The remainder of the 10 weeks, if any, will be unpaid.

What Notice Am I Required To Give Before Taking Family Leave?

You must give at least 30 days notice before taking leave. Exception: You will not be held to the 30-day notice requirement if you are prevented from complying with the provision due to a medical emergency.

In addition, your employer may require you to present a certification from a physician verifying the amount of leave you are requesting. Unique Exception: If, in good faith, you rely on treatment by prayer or spiritual means, you may present a certification from an accredited practitioner of those healing methods rather than from a certified physician.

Will I Get Benefits While On Leave?

Your employer must arrange for you to be able to continue receiving benefits. However, continuation of benefits will be at your own expense unless you and your employer negotiate for a different arrangement.

Will I Get My Job Back After Being On Leave?

Upon returning from family medical leave you are entitled to be returned to your former position or to a position with equivalent seniority status, employee benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment.

Researched and written by:

Lisa Gerson, Esq. McDermott Will & Emery LLP New York, NY 

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