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Portland Hazard Pay to End on January 13, 2022


James R. Erwin

Submitted by Firm:
Pierce Atwood LLP - Maine
Firm Contacts:
James R. Erwin
Article Type:
Legal Article

Portland City Council repeals state of emergency and approves a citywide indoor mask mandate

Portland’s emergency minimum wage will come to an end after only 12 days, as the Portland City Council voted 8-1 on Monday, January 3, to repeal the current municipal state of emergency related to COVID-19. The repeal is effective Wednesday, January 13.

The repeal removes the trigger that activated the “hazard pay” provision of Portland’s minimum wage ordinance, which sets the hourly minimum wage in the city of Portland at 1.5 times the standard minimum wage during any state, city, or county declared state of emergency.

Since the municipal state of emergency, enacted last summer by the Portland City Council, remained in effect at the start of 2022, the hazard pay provision went into effect on January 1. At the same time, Portland’s regular minimum wage increased to $13 per hour, resulting in an emergency minimum wage of $19.50. When the state of emergency ends on January 13, the enhanced minimum wage will no longer apply and the minimum wage will revert to $13.

Additionally, the Portland City Council voted 9-0 to implement a citywide indoor face covering mandate beginning at midnight on Wednesday, January 5, 2022. Any person entering a public building within the city of Portland must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth at all times, with the following exceptions:

  • Any person under the age of two
  • Any person with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering
  • Businesses located within a public building that actively screen for and require proof of COVID-19 vaccination

Under this ordinance, a public building does not include a private residence or residential unit; a public preschool or K-12 school; a church or other house of worship; or an office space where the occupants can be physically separated from the general public. This means that all businesses that are open to the public must now require both customers and employees to be masked, except for those employees who are physically separated from publicly accessible areas.

All public buildings, and each separate business within the public building, must post a sign at the entrance alerting people to this ordinance. This posting requirement will take effect on January 10, 2022.

The Portland City Council must vote to either rescind or extend the face covering mandate every 30 days.

For questions about the repeal of the state of emergency, the hazard wage, or the face covering mandate, please contact Jim Erwin or any member of the Pierce Atwood employment group.