NFIB Sounds Warning Over New Proposed Paid Leave Mandate

Date: February 07, 2023

New Taxes, Regulations Could Burden Small Businesses Across Maine


AUGUSTA, ME (Feb. 7, 2023) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), Maine and the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, today warned that a proposed new paid leave scheme, which would levy a new payroll tax and impose significant regulatory requirements, puts a heavy burden on thousands of small businesses and jobs in the state.

Previously, the legislature empaneled a 12-member statutory commission charged with creating a proposal for a paid family & medical leave (PFML) program that could cover all employees and self-employed people in Maine, with its report due November 2, 2022. This deadline was later pushed back, and the panel is now poised to announce this week its expected conclusions, triggering legislation that would then be considered by the sitting 131st Legislature and, if passed, sent to Governor Mills.

Supported by progressive legislators and activist groups, the push for an expansive – and expensive – mandatory paid leave program has been ongoing. These activists advocate mandated coverage for every Maine employer without any meaningful exceptions or flexibility, providing up to 12-16 weeks of paid family, medical, and safe leave.

Among other concerning aspects, this legislation could potentially require employers of more than 15 workers to pay BOTH the employee and employer share and prohibit employers from requiring that other leave be used before an employee uses the new PFML benefits.

“We are very concerned that activists will use the threat of a citizen-initiative referendum as a way to stampede legislators and the governor into accepting something that does not make good sense for Maine employers, employees, customers, and local and state economies,” said NFIB State Director David Clough. “Progressive groups are pushing a program that greatly expands existing Maine family leave law and takes away existing protections that help small employers manage employee absences, at a time when employers are struggling to find enough workers to maintain regular hours or avoid unexpected closure of the small business. Paying people to stay home for weeks when at the same time employers are struggling to find workers would be very difficult for small business owners across the state to manage and stay financially stable.”

NFIB Maine will work to educate lawmakers about the impact such a proposal will have on small businesses, many of which are already being hit by higher labor and operational costs, and especially the impact on thousands of small businesses that would lose vital protections built into existing leave laws.


For nearly 80 years, NFIB has been the voice of small business, advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member driven. Since our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit

Related Content: Small Business News | Maine

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