Maine Earned Paid Leave

In accordance with the State of Maine Earned Paid Leave Law all non-benefit eligible part-time, temporary, and per diem employees are eligible to accrue and use earned paid leave as described in this policy. See the Maine Earned Paid Leave (MEPL) FAQs for more information.

Accrual of Earned Paid Leave
Maine earned paid leave (MEPL) is accrued at a rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked. The following chart illustrates MEPL accrual and the total hours employees are able to accrue in a year.  Actual accrual is based upon the number of hours worked in each pay period.  MEPL is only accrued when an employee is actively working.

Covered EmployeesAccrual Per 40 Hours WorkedMaximum Accrual/Year
All non-benefit eligible staff, including part-time, temporary, or per diem1 Hour40 Hours

Employees begin to accrue MEPL from their first day of employment.  However, new employees are not allowed to use accrued MEPL until after they have been employed by Bates College for 120 days. 

Use of Earned Paid Leave
MEPL can be used in minimum increments of one-quarter hour and may be used for any reason.  However, MEPL can only be used to cover for regular work time missed and not as additional income over and above an employee’s regularly scheduled hours.  Employees may not use accrued MEPL during the notice period preceding termination of employment.  Exceptions may be made for employees who provide medical documentation of the need to be out of work during such period.

Employee Notice
Absent an emergency, illness or other sudden necessity for taking MEPL, employees are required to give reasonable notice to their supervisor of their intent to use MEPL; however, supervisors cannot request more than four weeks notice for planned absences.  Departments may establish scheduling guidelines to avoid situations where multiple absences impact the college’s business and educational needs. The college may refuse requested time off that interferes with business or educational needs.   For cases of absence due to sudden illness or emergency that last for three days or more Bates may request medical certification.

Rate of Pay
MEPL is paid at the employee’s base rate of pay at the time of the absence.  If an employee holds more than one position the MEPL is paid at the rate of the highest paid job.  MEPL is not used in calculating overtime.

Unused Earned Paid Leave
MEPL which is accrued but not used by the end of the calendar year may be carried over to the following calendar year up to the maximum 40 hours that may accrue.  Any MEPL carried over into the following year counts towards that year’s maximum 40 hours accrued.  For example, if at the end of the calendar year an employee had 10 hours of MEPL it may be carried over into the following calendar year, however, that 10 hours would count towards the maximum of 40 hours that may accrue in a calendar year.

Accrued and unused MEPL is not paid out upon termination of employment; however, if an employee is rehired within a year any unused MEPL accrued balance at the time of termination will be restored to their MEPL accrued leave balance.