EEO - Discrimination: Maine
Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.
Author: Ronald W. Schneider, Bernstein Shur
- The Maine Human Rights Act (MHRA) prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, age, religion, ancestry, national origin, or because of the previous assertion of a claim or right under Maine's Workers' Compensation Law. See Discrimination Under the Maine Human Rights Act.
- Maine has a broader definition of mental and physical disability than the ADA. See Disability.
- Unlike the ADA, the MHRA does not impose a duty on an employer to engage in the interactive process but does provide an employer with an affirmative defense to a claim that the employer failed to provide a reasonable accommodation. See Disability.
- Maine law covers any person of legal working age from age discrimination unlike the federal law, which protects people over the age of 40. See Age.
- The MHRA provides for a wide-range of remedies. Punitive damages may be awarded against certain employers, but only if the employee demonstrates that the employer acted with malice or with reckless indifference to the rights of the plaintiff. See Remedies.