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Payment of Wages: Maine

Payment of Wages requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Vicki M. Lambert, The Payroll Advisor


  • Maine employers may pay employees in cash, or by check, direct deposit or electronic paycard subject to certain conditions. See Wage Payment Methods.
  • Employers must pay wages earned in full on an established pay day that occurs at regular intervals. Pay rates may be changed under certain conditions. A fine is imposed for violations. See Pay Frequency.
  • In Maine, certain pay deductions are either permitted or prohibited by law. An employer that has erroneously overcompensated an employee may not withhold more than a certain percentage of subsequent pay to cover the amount without the employee's written permission, unless the employee quits voluntarily. See Permitted and Prohibited Wage Deductions.
  • An employer must provide each employee with a pay statement for every wage payment. Special rules apply to certain railroad employees and employees who are paid electronically. See Pay Statement Requirements.
  • Terminated employees must be paid in full on the next regular pay day, or within two weeks if the employer is selling its business. Deductions from final pay for wage overpayments are permitted under limited circumstances. If the terms of employment or the employer's established practice provide for paid vacations, then any vacation pay has the same status as wages earned. Fines are imposed for employer violations. See Termination Pay.
  • The Act to Prevent Wage Theft and Promote Employer Accountability defines employer violations considered to be wage theft and provides enforcement provisions. See Wage Theft Law.
  • Wages that remain unclaimed by an employee for one year are considered abandoned property. Unclaimed payroll cards are considered abandoned after three years. Employers are required to notify employees of the unclaimed wages and file a report with and remit the unclaimed wages to the state Unclaimed Property Division within a certain annual time period. Serious penalties are imposed for failure to file reports or remit unclaimed wages. See Unclaimed Wages.
  • Portland has requirements pertaining to the payment of wages. See Local Requirements.