That increase in the minimum wage from $12.75 accounts partly for the rising cost to live over the past year.
In this Feb. 24, 2021, file photo, a server balances an order while coming out of the kitchen at a restaurant on the Portland waterfront. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Minimum wage earners will see a pay increase and employers will have to pay departing employees for unused vacation time under laws taking effect Jan. 1 in Maine.

Maine’s minimum wage will increase from $12.75 to $13.80 based on a state law that requires annual adjustments based on a cost-of-living index. Meanwhile, another law requires companies with more than 10 workers to pay out any unused, accrued vacation time to employees when they leave.

Manufacturers of products containing intentionally added chemicals known as PFAS are being required to report the presence of the so-called forever chemicals in the new year.

Those chemicals are also being banned from new carpets, rugs and fabric treatments. But the state’s full ban on those so-called forever chemicals doesn’t begin until 2030.