Hazard pay is in effect in Portland after Gov. Janet Mills declared a state of civil emergency Thursday in all of Maine’s eight coastal counties that were battered by a storm Tuesday night and Wednesday.

City officials issued a notice Thursday that employers in Portland must pay their employees at least $22.50 per hour for the duration of the emergency declaration, which is expected to last at least one week.

The hazard pay provision is part of the city’s minimum wage ordinance, which states that the minimum wage (currently $15 per hour) will increase 1.5 times during states of emergency.

The emergency minimum wage for tipped workers is $11.25 per hour, plus tips. The emergency rate doesn’t apply to employees working remotely under a telework arrangement.

The governor’s order allows the state to marshal resources to assist communities that were hit hard by recent rain and flooding in Cumberland, Hancock, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Waldo, Washington and York counties. It also positions the state to seek federal disaster relief funds.

Municipal officials cannot provide legal guidance on paying employees, the city’s notice stated, and any business owner with questions should consult an attorney.

The Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce also notified members about the hazard pay requirement.

“We are working to obtain additional information and we will continue to update our members as this dynamic situation unfolds,” the notice stated.

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