Statement of Governor on U.S. Department of Labor Review

February 27, 2014

For Immediate Release: Thursday, Feb. 27
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage released the following statement with regard to the U.S. Department of Labor’s review of the unemployment appeals process in the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation, part of the Maine Department of Labor, and the Unemployment Insurance Commission (UIC), which is an independent state agency appointed by and reporting to the governor:

“The results of the review are no surprise,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “The USDOL confirmed that there are legitimate concerns about the appeals hearings, which echoes the findings in the Blue Ribbon Commission I appointed. The review found that Maine's appeals system has not been consistent in applying the law.

“It is also no surprise that the Obama Administration’s Department of Labor is speculating my administration somehow tried to influence the hearings process,” said the Governor. “This issue has been politically motivated from the start, starting with Democratic activists in Maine and reaching all the way to the White House. The USDOL review found no evidence of wrong-doing, but uses conjecture and supposition to come to a conclusion that has no basis in fact. The focus of my administration is to ensure the appeals process is fair and consistent for both Maine employees and employers.”