Legislative Leave Handbook Statement: Maine

Author: Amy E. Mendenhall, Marissa L. Dragoo, Corinn Jackson, and Judith A. Paulson, Littler

When to Include

Maine employers with more than five employees should include this statement in their handbook in order to educate employees, including supervisors, about the availability of leave to serve in the Maine state legislature and to show their compliance with Maine law.

Customizable Handbook Statement

Legislative Leave

The Company will grant a leave of absence for a regular full-time or part-time (i.e., nontemporary) employee to serve as a state legislator, limited to one legislative term of two years. Time off under this policy will be unpaid. The Company may deny the request for leave if granting the leave will cause unreasonable hardship for the company's business operations.

Employees who intend to seek election to the state legislature must notify the Company in writing within 10 days of taking action to place his or her name on the ballot. Employees who fail to provide this notice will waive their rights under this policy.

Upon return to employment, employees will be reinstated to their original position or to a similar position with the same status, pay and seniority, as long as the employee is still qualified to perform the duties of the position.

Guidance for Employers

  • Maine employees may take a leave of absence to perform official duties as a member of the state legislature.
  • Employers with five or fewer employees are not required to provide legislative leave.
  • Covered employers may seek exemption from the legislative leave law. Employers that feel that granting the leave of absence will cause unreasonable hardship for the business may appeal for relief by a written notice to the chair of the State Board of Arbitration and Conciliation.
  • Employees in temporary positions do not qualify for a leave of absence.
  • Employees must provide notice within 10 days of taking official action to place their name on the ballot; failure to do so excuses the employer from its duty to provide a leave of absence.
  • Supervisors should be trained regarding how to respond to requests for leave so that they do not take any adverse actions (e.g., termination, demotion) against employees who are eligible for leave and who request or take leave.