Employers have long been aware of laws prohibiting sexual harassment and discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex, race, religion, disability, national origin, and other protected characteristics. But what about uncivil or intimidating behavior unrelated to protected class status? Many employees complain to employers about coworkers creating “toxic” work environments, but the offending behavior falls outside of the umbrella of state and federal harassment and discrimination laws. How should employers handle these situations?
On Tuesday May 28th, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed into law “An Act Authorizing Employee Leave,” (“the Act”). This new law will provide eligible employees with the ability to accrue up to 40 hours of paid personal leave per year. Unlike other paid leave laws around the country, Maine’s will be the first to allow the employees to use the paid leave for any purpose, including non-medical or personal reasons.