Uncertainty over implementation of new wage law has businesses in Maine’s largest city on edge

A wage ordinance approved by Portland voters on Nov. 3 could dramatically increase pay during the COVID-19 pandemic, a move that businesses say will cause more of them to curtail operations or shut down entirely.

“The immediate concern is whether the hazard pay provision takes effect this December or January 2022,” David Clough, state director for the National Federation of Independent Business in Maine, told The Center Square by email.

“The impact of the hazard pay provision taking effect next month will be catastrophic in the midst of the current public health emergency that is expected to last into 2021,” Clough said. “Labor costs will
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