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Business and Economy

Portland's New Hazard Pay Rule Won't Kick In Until 2022, Maine High Court Rules

Maine’s top court has ruled that Portland’s emergency minimum wage increase will not go into effect until next year.

Portland voters approved the changes in a referendum last year. As part of the measure, the city’s minimum wage will increase to one-and-a-half times its current rate during declared emergencies such as the coronavirus pandemic. That’s $18 per hour now, up from $12 normally.

But the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce and some employers sued the city over the hike.

On Tuesday, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court upheld a lower court’s ruling that the measure is valid but shouldn't go into effect until Jan 1, 2022.

That's when Portland's regular minimum wage will also start increasing under the referendum. It will reach $15 per hour by 2024.