“Put simply, this bill would cut wages for thousands of Mainers, who by definition are among the hardest workers in our economy Mainers are known as hard workers, but they also value fairness, and they deserve to be paid properly for their overtime.”
– Testimony of James Myall, Policy Analyst, the Maine Center for Economic Policy
This bill would have cut wages for roughly 19,000 Mainers this year by changing the state’s overtime rules to exclude more working-class employees from eligibility for time-and-a-half pay. It would have done so by repealing state-level overtime rules and revert Maine to the federal-level standards that haven’t been updated in decades. Under this bill, by 2022, approximately 32,000 Maine workers would lose their eligibility.
Everyone deserves to get paid for their work. Overtime protection standards come from the adoption of a 40-hour work week during the New Deal in 1938. Overtime recognizes the inherent dignity of work by guaranteeing that when employees go above and beyond the standard of 40 hours, they are fairly compensated for their extra work. Unfortunately, since 1975, federal overtime protections have been significantly eroded and have not been sufficiently updated. The Obama Administration addressed that problem, but it was challenged in court and will not go into effect. It’s imperative that Maine maintain our own standard, since states have the right to set their own thresholds.
DEAD: This bill was defeated in the House and died.