Maine Department of Labor to Start Rulemaking Process in the Fall for Paid Family Medical Leave Programsigned an historic budget that includes the creation of a paid family and medical leave program, making Maine the 13th state to establish one. Beginning in 2026, eligible workers in the private and public sector will have 12 weeks of paid time off available to them for family or medical reasons including illness, to care for a relative, or for the birth of a child.
“Paid family and medical leave improves the lives of Maine's working families and strengthens our workforce and economy,” said Laura Fortman, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Labor. “The Maine Department of Labor will be diligently working with all interested partners to stand up this new program.”
The new program was negotiated by Governor Mills to ensure it is tailored to meet the needs of Maine families and Maine's economy.
When the budget goes into effect in October 2023, the Department will begin the rulemaking process. Initial rules necessary for implementation must be adopted by the department by January 1, 2025.
The rulemaking process will include an informal period for collecting information prior to the formal process required by the Maine Administrative Procedures Act (MAPA). MAPA requires the Department post draft rules for public comment for a period of at least thirty days. During this comment period, the Department intends to hold a public hearing in order to gather feedback on the drafted rules as well as collect written comments. Final adoption of the rules requires the Department to provide a response to all public comments.
Contributions to the Paid Family Medical Leave fund will begin January 1, 2025, and benefits are scheduled to begin on May 1, 2026.
As the process evolves, the Department will keep the public, workers, and employers involved and informed. As information becomes available, it will be posted on the Department's website here: https://www.maine.gov/labor/pfml/