Maine Workers’ Compensation Legislation Brings Changes to Exemptions for Intentional Torts Regarding Sexual Harassment and Assault
Workers Compensation Bill LD 53 (“An Act to Ensure Accountability for Workplace Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault by Removing Certain Intentional Torts from Workers’ Compensation Exemptions”), became law on June 4, 2023.
The original Bill looked for an exception to the workers’ compensation exclusivity provision for sexual assault and harassment, but contained broad language covering all intentional acts. LD 53 as enacted is narrower. It amends 39-A M.R.S.A. 104 to provide that an employee, supervisor, officer, or director of an employer is liable for sexual harassment, sexual assault, or an intentional tort “related to” sexual harassment or sexual assault. The law exempts employers, finding this section may not be construed to impose liability on an employer for sexual harassment, sexual assault, or an intentional tort related to sexual harassment or sexual assault committed by an employee, supervisor, officer, or director of the employer. The legislation also clarifies that section 104 does not prohibit or limit an action alleging employment discrimination pursuant to the Maine Human Rights Act or the federal Civil Rights Act.
A link to the amendment is here.