HR Management & Compliance

New year brings new minimum wage, posting requirements in Portland

by Peter Lowe

A new year means different things for different people, but for Portland employers, the first of the year means a new hike in the minimum wage along with related posting requirements.

The new minimum wage, set at $10.10 per hour for all employees, comes as the result of a municipal ordinance passed in July that went into effect January 1. The ordinance also mandates a wage increase in 2017 (to $10.68) and annual adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index for all years 2018 and beyond.

These rates also apply to tipped service workers. Such workers must receive a “direct wage” of at least $3.75 per hour, and their direct wages plus tips must equal or exceed $10.10 per hour or else the employer must make up the difference.

A “Portland employer” is an entity that exercises control over the wages of an employee who works within “the municipal limits of the City” and who has a place of business within the city limits. Therefore, any employer that has a business location in Portland and employees who work in the city must comply with the new law.

While most employers are likely aware of this wage increase, some might not have realized that the ordinance includes additional notice and posting requirements. First of all, employers are required to post a new notice informing employees of the current minimum wage rate. Second, employers must post the nine-page ordinance itself in a location accessible to all employees.

Finally, the ordinance requires that employers provide all Portland employees a notice in their first paycheck in 2016 advising them of the current minimum wage. If delivered with the paycheck, the notice and ordinance discussed and linked to above constitute sufficient notice to fulfill this requirement.

We’re only a few days in, but 2016 already promises to be an eventful year, with many changes to come. Stay tuned for our future updates and alerts to keep on top of legal changes and developments.

Peter Lowe is a partner with the Brann & Isaacson law firm in Lewiston, Maine, and an editor of Maine Employment Law Letter. He can be reached at


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