When hiring employees who reside and work in Maine, your employee handbook must comply with both federal and state-specific employment laws. Since Maine’s employment law may differ significantly from other states where you hire, customizing your Maine employee handbook to meet state requirements is a key step.

While employers aren’t required to create and distribute employee handbooks, they are required to implement and comply with a variety of policies in the workplace. Employee handbooks serve as a valuable tool to introduce the company, set expectations, explain essential policies and procedures, and mitigate legal risk. Failure to comply with Maine and federal employment laws could expose your company to substantial legal liability. If proper drafting wasn’t already, it has become incredibly important in light of the NLRB’s recent decision in Stericycle, Inc. and Teamsters Local 628. In that decision, the NLRB made it clear that any work rule or policy instituted by employers must advance a legitimate business interest and not infringe on employee rights under Section 7 of the NLRA.

Fortunately, SixFifty’s Employment Docs platform empowers employers to quickly and cost-effectively generate customized, state-specific employment handbooks tailored to Maine’s employee handbook requirements.

Here’s what employers should know about creating their own Maine employee handbooks.

Required Maine employee handbook policies

Maine has 11 required employee handbook policies:

  • Crime Victim Leave Policy
  • Domestic Violence Leave Policy
  • Emergency Responder Leave Policy
  • FMLA Policy (for companies with 15 or more employees)
  • Jury Duty Leave Policy
  • Meal and Rest Breaks Policy
  • Military Service Leave Policy (for companies with 15 or more employees)
  • Paid Leave Policy (for companies with 10 or more employees)
  • Pay Transparency Policy
  • Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Whistleblower Policy

Note that several policies have employee thresholds. If your organization has fewer employees than the threshold, you don’t have to include these—but if you’re close, it’s a good idea to add them now.

Optional Maine employee handbook policies

In addition to the required Maine employment policies, employers are free to add optional policies like these:

  • Affinity Group Policy
  • Arbitration Policy
  • At-Will Employment Policy
  • Background Check Policy
  • Business Expense Policy
  • Company Property Policy
  • Confidentiality and Trade Secrets Policy
  • Desk Hoteling Policy
  • Direct Deposit Policy
  • Dress Code Policy
  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy
  • Electronic Devices While Driving Policy
  • Employee Benefits Policy
  • Employee Classification Policy
  • Employee Dating Policy
  • Employee References Policy
  • Employment of Relatives Policy
  • Exit Interview Policy
  • Gifts Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Holidays
  • Immigration Law Compliance
  • Lactation Accommodation Policy
  • Leave Policies, including: Parental Leave; Bereavement Leave; Organ, Bone Marrow, and Blood Donor Leave; Domestic Violence Leave; Voting Leave; Witness Duty Leave; School Activity Leave
  • Marijuana Policy
  • Off-Duty Use of Facilities
  • Outside Employment Policy
  • Overtime Policy
  • Payment of Wages Policy
  • Payroll Deductions Policy
  • Performance Review Policy
  • Personnel Files Policy
  • Pets in the Workplace Policy
  • Progressive Discipline Policy
  • Public Relations Policy
  • Punctuality and Attendance Policy
  • Salary Pay Policy
  • Social Media Policy
  • Solicitation and Distribution of Literature Policy
  • Technology Systems Policy
  • Telecommuting Policy
  • Temporary Relocation Policy
  • Timekeeping Policy
  • Vacation/Paid Time Off
  • Video Conferencing Policy
  • Workers’ Compensation Policy
  • Workplace Violence Policy
  • Workplace Visitor Policy
  • Workweek and Work Schedules Policy

Depending on employment type, industry, and other factors, not all of these optional policies are suitable for every organization.

Required federal employee handbook policies

If you choose to create an employee handbook, you should include these policies that are required by federal employment law:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy
  • Equal Employment and Anti-Discrimination Policy
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy (for companies with more than 50 employees)
  • Jury Duty Leave Policy
  • Military Service Leave Policy
  • Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Lactation Accommodation Policy
  • Religious Accommodation Policy

Employers in all 50 states are required to implement these policies, in addition to any that are required by the specific state(s) in which they have employees. Therefore, all of your employee handbooks should contain these federal policies (if your organization meets the 50-employee requirement for the FMLA Policy). You’ll notice that some of these policies are also required by the state. Because federal law only sets the floor of what’s required and states can institute their own, stricter obligations, it’s important that you review both levels of the law to ensure you’re in compliance with each.

How to create a Maine employee handbook

Drafting state-specific employee handbooks requires thorough research and careful drafting. It also poses inherent risks—any violation of federal or Maine state employment laws in your handbooks, even if unintentional, could potentially expose your company to legal liability.

To ensure compliance with federal and state legal requirements, you have several options. One option is to hire an attorney for the handbook drafting, guaranteeing adherence to regulations. However, when hiring employees in multiple states, billable hours can quickly accumulate.

Alternatively, some companies might consider using one-size-fits-all online templates. This is not advisable, as there’s no guarantee that a generic template will encompass all the necessary state-specific policies and language.

SixFifty recognizes the challenges involved in crafting employee handbooks, so we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. Our employee handbook creator tool is expertly designed to guide employers through every stage of the employment life cycle, from creating offer letters to managing termination and offboarding. Creating top-tier Maine employee handbooks that meet all requirements has never been easier. Plus, our legal team diligently monitors any developments in employment law nationwide. Should any changes arise, we will notify you, allowing you to regenerate your documents accordingly.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo today!

Looking to create an employee handbook for a different state? View our interactive map for required employee handbook policies by state.