Employment

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There were several efforts to improve the economic security of low-wage workers this session. Most notably several bills were introduced to increase the state’s minimum wage as well as bills to increase retail worker rights.

The Legislature failed to pass any of the minimum wage increase bills. Despite this outcome, the need for livable wages persists and efforts to raise the minimum wage in Maine communities continue. Both Portland and Bangor are considering municipal minimum wage increases and ally organizations have a campaign underway to get a statewide referendum on the ballot for November 2016. Learn more about that effort here.

In addition to the minimum wage, two bills would have taken steps toward addressing a real problem faced by many low-wage workers – that of having unpredictable and/or unstable work schedules. Both bills died in the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee, but we expect there to be similar proposals in the future.

(August 2015)