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June 26, 2007
Augusta - Maine Labor Commissioner, Laura Fortman, reminds employers of foreign logging workers, commonly referred to as “bonds,” of a recent change in Maine law requiring documentation of ownership of logging equipment used by bonds in the course of employment.
As of October 1, 2006, every Maine employer who applies for and is certified by the U.S. Department of Labor to hire bonds is required by Maine law to provide proof of ownership for the pieces of equipment used by those workers. Employers must own at least one piece of equipment for every two bonds hired. Equipment for which prevailing rates are set (hand tools, chain saws, etc) is exempt from the law.
Employers need to provide documentation of equipment ownership to the Maine Department of Labor within 21 days of making an offer of employment to a bond worker. Businesses can obtain a proof of ownership form from the Maine Department of Labor by calling 207-623-7900 or downloaded on the department’s website at: www.maine.gov/labor/laborlaws/migimm_svs.html
“Maine’s logging industry has always played an important part in the state economy,” said Maine Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman. “This legislation helps ensure that Maine workers have first access to jobs in the Maine woods.”
The Maine Department of Labor is responsible for enforcement of the proof of ownership law and will be visiting logging operations throughout the state to ensure employers are meeting their legal obligations under the law.
Workers interested in jobs in the logging industry should contact their local CareerCenter at 1-888-457-8883 or TTY: 1-800-794-1110. Employers needing further information on the law should contact Maine Department of Labor at 207-623-7900 or TTY: 1-800-794-1110.