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Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA) Meeting

Bureau of Labor Standards

Third Floor Conference Room

August 11, 2004



Staff Present: Ted Bradstreet, Terry Hathaway, Desi-Rae Mason, Kurtis Petersons (Summer Intern), & John Rioux.


Members Present: Peter Doran (MIOHE), Carol Eckert (MIOHE), Saskia Janes (Maine Public Health Association), Ruth  Lawson-Stopps (Occupational Health Associates), Jonathan Lepoff (Consultant), Jeff Levesque (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), Kim Lim (Bureau of Labor Standards), Dwight Littlefield (Maine Bureau of Health), Ivan Most (Strategic Occupational Health), & Leslie Walleigh (Workplace Health).


Members Absent: Brad Brown (Bureau of Insurance), Valerie Carter (Bureau of Labor Education), Peter Crockett (MLGH), Sharon D’Orsie (USM), Denise Dumont (U.S. HealthWorks), Ron Dyer (DEP), Heather Mason (Maine Safety Council), Steve Minkowsky (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), Louise Morang (MAOHN), Pat Philbrook (Maine State Nurses Association), & Jonathan Torres (WorkMed).


Guest:  Sandy Butler (UMO)



Ivan Most, Chair, opened the meeting at 9:02 A.M.



Approval of June 9, 2004 Minutes.  Jonathan Lepoff made a motion to accept the minutes. Dwight Littlefield, seconded. Vote, unanimous.


Governance Subcommittee Report – Jonathan Lepoff. The members of this committee are Ivan Most, Saskia Janes, Carol Eckert, and Jonathan Lepoff. The purpose of the governance subcommittee is to look into nonprofit status for MORA. The positives of nonprofit status are: acceptance of funds from third parties, enhanced ability to RFP’s, and in charge of our own destiny. The negatives are: staffing issues (currently, BLS provides staffing) and maintaining a web page (which BLS currently does). Carol has contacted MIOHE members to officially disband that group and to turn over the remaining funds to MORA. So far, there has been no negative response. Saskia is investigating the cost of applying for non-profit status. Ivan is responsible for creating a financial statement as of January 1, 2005. Discussion followed regarding non-profit status; MORA would need a base of operation as well as a full-time person to look after the affairs. Ivan stated that MORA could be housed at Medical Care Development or University of New England


Another issue is that whether MORA should continue to meet as a large entity or should there be an Executive Committee.  Discussion followed. Should MORA become non-profit, there would be a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer as well as chairs of the subcommittees which would make up the Executive Committee. A larger group enables the ownership to be spread around and more of a chance to meet colleagues.


An update from the Governance Subcommittee will take place at the September meeting.


Misclassification of Independent Contractors – Kurtis Petersons.  Kurtis Petersons, summer intern with the Maine Bureau of Labor Standards, did a power point presentation on the findings of misclassification of independent contractors, specifically in the construction industry.  A handout, “Prevalence of Misclassification in the Construction Industry”, was given to members. Kurtis had two (2) sources of information; case studies and Unemployment Compensation (UC) tax audits. He explained that the information he obtained was based on a random sample. The two (2) groups showing the largest misclassifications were residential building construction and carpentry and floor workers. His conclusions are that targeting on the SIC 3 level could prove effective, continue research in another industry to reveal another “hot spot” for misclassified workers, and the 1099 relationship may exist and be worth looking into. MORA should think about the implications regarding research or advocacy. John announced that Kurtis will be doing this presentation again Monday, August 16th, at 9:00 AM in the First Floor Training Room, Bureau of Labor Standards. Also, there will be a presentation on the Bureau’s teen safety survey.


Operative Document – Saskia Janes.  The Operative Document will be presented at the October meeting.


Plan Invitation Calendar – Ivan Most. Ivan asked for suggestions for invitations to future MORA meetings. The following is a list and possible dates.


Laura Fortman, Commissioner, Maine Department of Labor                 December

Meredith Tipton, University of New England, MPH Program                   September/October 

Ann Bachus, Harvard October

Peggy Filios, NIOSH Consultant for Occupational Asthma                     

John Wise

John LeCasse October/November

OSHA Representative

Dan Cote, MEMIC

Ivan will compose a letter to each of the above folks, except for Peggy Filios, who Dwight Littlefield will contact.

Ruth Lawson-Stopps suggested that it might be a good idea to have the Commissioner and an OSHA representative attend a MORA meeting at least once a year.


Ivan also suggested that perhaps UNE graduate students could be invited as guest speakers.


Discussion about MORA membership – OSHA, Safety Council, Labor, Insurance, Maine Municipal Association, Earle Pease (Maine State Workers’ Compensation), Beth Edmunds (Labor Committee).


Report of Harvard RFP’s – Ivan Most. Sandy Butler, UMO, announced that the RFP on aging has been funded. Ivan extended an invitation for Sandy to speak at a future meeting.


NORA/NIOSH Report – Ivan Most.  Ivan is a member of the Intervention Effectiveness Committee. NORA/NIOSH are creating a database of interventions to help prevent the reinvention of the wheel. It should be completed by the end of this year. Rick Neumeyer is setting it up.


Ivan is in the group who will publish a paper on intervention effectiveness. This group will be reviewing 583 papers between 1998 and 2003. Should be ready within the next couple of years.


Prevention Data Advisory Group – Leslie Walleigh. This month’s meeting of the Prevention Data Advisory Group has been cancelled. At last month’s meeting, Leslie did a presentation on Occupational Disease Reporting. Plans are getting underway to prepare a report to the Legislature.


Next Meeting – September 8, 2004 – Agenda – Ivan Most. The next meeting will be held Wednesday, September 8, 2004 from 9:00 AM to Noon, Third Floor Conference Room, Bureau of Labor Standards.  Agenda items are as follows:


I.                      Approval of August 11, 2004 Minutes

II.                    Conference 2005 Update – Meeting with Leslie Ingraham

III.                   Meredith Tipton, UNE – Guest Speaker

IV.                Calendar of Inviting Research Presenters

V.                  Open Forum

VI.                Next Meeting – October 13, 2004 – Agenda


Chair Ivan Most adjourned the meeting at 11:55 AM.

Respectfully submitted,


Terry M. Hathaway