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Maine Limits Captive Audience

26 Oct


Update Applicable to:

To all Maine employers and multi-state businesses who have at least 1 employee in Maine joining a meeting remotely.

What happened?

Effective October 25, 2023, a new law which bans captive audience meetings and communications regarding political or religious matters for employers takes effect (Me. Stat. tit. 26 § 600-B).

What are the details?

Employers can’t take, or threaten to take, any adverse action against an employee for declining to attend or participate in an employer-sponsored meeting that expresses the employer’s opinion on religious or political matters, as well as an employee who declines to receive or listen to communications that convey the employer’s views on religious or political matters. Certain religious employers are exempt.

Matters are considered political if they relate to any of the following:

  • Elections for political office
  • Political parties
  • Proposals to change legislation, regulations, or public policy.
  • The decision to join or support any political party or political, civic, community, fraternal, or labor organization.

Matters are defined as religious if they relate to:

·         Religious belief

·         Affiliation, practice, or the decision to join or support a religious organization or association.

The ban does not apply to meetings or communications that are strictly voluntary, necessary for employees to perform their job duties, or communications that are required by law.

Employers are required to post a notice to employees about these rights within 30 days of the law becoming effective. The law doesn’t say whether the state will create a sample notice, but you may want to check Maine’s Labor Posters webpage.

For more information, please see the links below:

Law Firm Articles: Article 1, Article 2

News: Article 1

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the above information carefully to comply with the new prohibition, as well as comply with the new obligations mandated. Employers should consult with their employment attorney if necessary.

Need help understanding how changes to employment laws will affect your business?

Learn more about how Vensure's Maine PEO services can help you navigate complex employment laws and keep your business compliant.

This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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