An Act To Help Small Employers by Making the Minimum Wage Increase More Gradual in Nonurban Areas
Sec. 1. 26 MRSA §664, sub-§1, as amended by IB 2015, c. 2, §1, is further amended to read:
Sec. 2. 26 MRSA §664, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2017, c. 272, §1, is further amended to read:
The tips received by a service employee become the property of the employee and may not be shared with the employer. Tips that are automatically included in the customer's bill or that are charged to a credit card must be treated like tips given to the service employee. A tip that is charged to a credit card must be paid by the employer to the employee by the next regular payday and may not be held while the employer is awaiting reimbursement from a credit card company. The employer may not deduct any amount from employee tips charged to a credit card, including, but not limited to, service fees assessed to the employer in connection with the credit card transaction.
An employer who elects to use the tip credit must inform the affected employee in advance, either orally or in writing, of the following information:
Sec. 3. 26 MRSA §664-A is enacted to read:
§ 664-A. Alternative minimum wage; certain nonurban areas
This bill creates an alternative minimum hourly wage that applies to certain designated nonurban areas starting on January 1, 2020. Under this bill the minimum hourly wage rate for those areas is $11 per hour and increases by 50¢ each January 1st until it reaches $12 per hour on January 1, 2022. The minimum hourly wage stays the same as in current law for Cumberland County, except for the towns of Baldwin, Bridgton, Harrison and Naples.
The bill also freezes any scheduled increase in the current minimum wage or the new alternative minimum wage if there is in effect an extended benefit period for unemployment compensation benefits, as determined by the Commissioner of Labor. The scheduled increase or increases will resume once there is no longer an extended benefit period in effect as of January 1st of a given year. It also delays the cost-of-living adjustment for the current minimum wage to January 1, 2024, changes the calculation to be the average cost-of-living increase over the prior 3 years and changes the timing of the cost-of-living adjustment to be every 3 years instead of every year.
It also requires the Department of Labor to submit an annual report analyzing job creation and job loss trends in urban and nonurban areas since the initiation of minimum wage increases established by Initiated Bill 2015, chapter 2, section 1.