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Payment of Wages: Maine

Payment of Wages requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Vicki M. Lambert, The Payroll Advisor


  • Maine employers may pay employees in cash, or by check, direct deposit or electronic paycard subject to certain conditions. See Wage Payment Methods.
  • Employers must pay wages earned in full on an established pay day that occurs at regular intervals, with some exceptions. Pay rates may be changed under certain conditions. A fine is imposed for violations. See Pay Frequency.
  • In Maine, certain pay deductions are either permitted or prohibited by law. An employer that has erroneously overcompensated an employee may deduct only a limited amount from the employee's subsequent pay without the employee's written permission, unless the employee voluntarily quits. See Permitted and Prohibited Wage Deductions.
  • Covered employers must make pay deductions from eligible employees' wages as contributions to the Maine Retirement Savings Program. See Maine Retirement Savings Program.
  • An employer must provide each employee with a pay statement for every wage payment. Special rules apply to certain railroad employees and employees who are paid electronically. See Pay Statement Requirements.
  • Terminated employees must be paid in full on the next regular pay day, or within two weeks if the employer is selling its business. An employer may deduct 100% of an erroneous wage overpayment from the final pay of an employee who voluntarily quits employment if authorized by the employee in writing. If the termination is involuntary, the deductible amount is severely limited if the employee does not provide written authorization. Employers with 11 or more employees are required pay terminated employees (including those terminated due to the sale of the employer's business) all unused, paid vacation accrued pursuant to the employer's vacation policy, unless an applicable collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise. Fines are imposed for employer violations. See Final Pay.
  • The Act to Prevent Wage Theft and Promote Employer Accountability defines employer violations considered to be wage theft and provides enforcement provisions. See Wage Theft Law.
  • Maine's general estates law may apply to an employer who owes wages or other property to a deceased employee. See Deceased Employee Wages
  • Wages that remain unclaimed by an employee for one year are considered abandoned property. Unclaimed payroll cards are considered abandoned after three years. Employers are required to notify employees of the unclaimed wages and file a report with and remit the unclaimed wages to the state Unclaimed Property Division within a certain annual time period. Serious penalties are imposed for failure to file reports or remit unclaimed wages. See Unclaimed Wages.
  • Portland has requirements pertaining to the payment of wages. See Local Requirements.