Commissioner of Labor Releases Report of the Administration’s Actions on Unemployment Compensation Recommendations Bookmark and Share

June 27, 2014

For Immediate Release: June 27, 2014
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

AUGUSTA—Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette has released the Report of the Administration’s Actions on Unemployment Compensation Recommendations that was discussed by the Government Oversight Committee at their meeting on June 26, 2014. This report was made available to the public at that meeting.

Below is the text of the cover letter Commissioner Paquette sent on Friday, June 20, 2014, to Beth Ashcroft, Director of the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA), accompanying the report.

The Report of the Administration’s Actions on Unemployment Compensation Recommendations is attached in PDF format. (If you require an accessible format, please email Julie Rabinowitz, Director of Communication for the Department of Labor, at Julie.Rabinowitz@maine.gov.)

Good Afternoon Director Ashcroft,

I am pleased to submit the attached Report of the Administration’s Actions on Unemployment Compensation Recommendations. This report reflects the Maine Department of Labor’s responsiveness to the recommendations and the hard work of our staff and that of the Unemployment Insurance Commission to undertake these significant and comprehensive reforms.

We welcomed the findings of both the Findings and Recommendations of the Unemployment Reform Blue Ribbon Commission in December 2013 and the February 2014 letter from the U.S. Department of Labor. These findings not only concurred with many of the concerns we had, but also provided concrete recommendations. As Commissioner, I appreciated the dedication and seriousness with which both the Blue Ribbon Commission and the US Department of Labor’s solicitor took in reviewing Maine’s unemployment system.

Upon receipt of both reports—each of which conducted separate fact-finding reviews, random audits, and interviews—our staff took immediate action to address all the recommendations from both reports. It is critical that both employers and claimants receive due process under the same legal standards, that they believe that the process is fair, and they understand that their evidence and witnesses will be allowed into the record and weighted properly and consistently.

The attached report includes both sets of recommendations (Blue Ribbon and US DOL) and breaks them out by task. It then indicates who made the recommendation, provides the current implementation status, and describes the progress and action(s) to date.

We believe that these reforms will not only improve the unemployment system for [sic] but also improve communication and collaboration within the Maine Department of Labor.

Best, Jeanne

Jeanne S. Paquette Commissioner

Supporting documents

Report of the Administration’s Actions on Unemployment Compensation Recommendations