Free Online Courses for Employers Launched Bookmark and Share

June 3, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 3, 2013
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

*Collaboration between the University College program and the Department of Labor will help employers learn about and comply with state and federal regulations *

AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor has formed a partnership with University College of the University of Maine System to provide important public information to Maine’s employers. The online mini-courses, developed by the Bureau of Labor Standards, cover federally mandated safety record keeping, the prevailing wage law and substance abuse policy compliance.

“We want to help Maine’s business voluntarily stay on the right side of the law,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “These no-cost courses teach what employers need to know and answer their frequently asked questions. This is a great example of state agencies working together to help businesses stay in compliance.”

These mini-courses, or short groups of lectures, are free and do not require advance registration. Employers or their employees can simply click on the link, select the course and receive the information. The courses are available here learn.maine.edu/employers, with more to follow. OSHA Record Keeping: The federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requires all employers to keep records of injuries and illnesses that are related to work. If the employer is inspected by OSHA and found to be out of compliance, the fines can be substantial. This course teaches employers how to keep the required records.

Maine’s Prevailing Wage Law for State Construction Jobs: This course describes the law, how to obtain the required determination, the records that need to be kept and the system of compliance and enforcement.

“When the state awards contracts for construction jobs,” explained Commission of Labor Jeanne Paquette, “almost everyone working under the contract must be paid a special minimum wage based on the location of the job and the classification of the worker. Before a contractor submits a bid, he should ask the prevailing wage examiner for a ‘Wage Determination.’ This video can help walk contractors through those steps.”

Maine’s Workplace Drug Testing Law and the Model Policies: Maine employers must have an approved drug testing policy if they are going to test either employees or job applicants. This course explains the law, the model policies and how an employer can adopt a testing policy. The course also points out how no policy is required if the employer does not do any drug testing of either applicants or employees.

Commissioner Paquette noted that, “In order to obtain approval for drug testing, employers must closely follow the complex requirements of the law. By providing a series of pre-approved policies, the Bureau of Labor Standards has helped save Maine businesses time and legal fees while removing the risk of being out of compliance.”

The Bureau of Labor Standards provides oversight of Maine’s labor laws—including laws governing wages and youth employment, promotes workplace safety through job-related injury data analysis and SafetyWorks!, the department’s on-site health and safety consultation and training program. More information about the Bureau of Labor Standards is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/bls/index.shtml .

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Collaboration between the University College program and the Department of Labor will help employers learn about and comply with state and federal regulations