Maine Department of Labor Announces Rulemaking under the Employment Security Act Bookmark and Share

July 19, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 19, 2017
Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

AUGUSTA—The Unemployment Insurance Commission will be holding a hearing in Augusta in August for public comments on revisions to four chapters of rules governing the state’s unemployment insurance program administered by the Maine Department of Labor.

“Over the next few months we’ll be updating our rules to reflect changes in the ways people look for work today as well as system modernizations,” stated Commissioner of Labor John Butera. “Unemployment insurance is there for people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and we must protect benefits for those who need them, especially in times of economic downturn. We must also do everything we can to help people who are out of work stay connected to the workforce and transition to a new job as soon as possible.”

The state has proposed changes to four chapters.

Revisions to Chapter 9, Able and Available Requirements (proposed rule number: 2017-P084), clarify eligibility for claimants who are only available for part-time work; provide factors for consideration in determining whether a claimant has an acceptable means of transportation to get to a job or to an area in which there are sufficient job opportunities; and clarify the application of the able and available requirements to claimants who are absent from their labor market area.

Revisions to Chapter 16, Benefits Paid to Illegal Aliens (proposed rule number: 2017-P085 2017-P084), update references to federal agencies regarding immigration and add a provision to Section 2(A) permitting the use of other documentation as approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) so that the rule does not need to be updated to reflect each new piece of documentation that DHS approves.

Revisions to Chapter 19, Other Remuneration (proposed rule number: 2017-P086), simplify the allocation rules for “other remuneration” and modify the treatment of bonus payments to make it more consistent with the Employment Security Law.

Revisions to Chapter 20, Unemployment Fraud or Misrepresentation by Claimants (proposed rule number: 2017-P087), remove the certified mail requirement from Section 2(B) and remove Section 2(C), as it is not legally required and not appropriate in all circumstances. Instead, the agency will prepare a standard operating procedure or other policy as to the methodology for interviewing the claimant in a fraud or misrepresentation case.

The public hearing will be held Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, from 1 to 2 p.m., in the Frances Perkins Conference Room B at the Department of Labor offices at 45 Commerce Drive in Augusta.

Public comments may be submitted by noon on Friday, August 18, 2017, to Jeanne St. Pierre, director of legislative and constituent affairs, Maine Department of Labor, 54 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0054 or by email at Jeanne.StPierre@Maine.gov . The rulemaking notice is available at: http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/notices/2017/071917.html and link to the rules are posted below.

Unemployment insurance provides a temporary source of income to individuals who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Unemployment insurance is funded solely by unemployment taxes paid by employers; employees do not pay into the unemployment system.

The Maine Department of Labor is an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

-end-

Supporting documents

Chapter 9 Proposed rule in PDF format

Chapters 9, 16, 19 and 20 in Word format

Chapter 16 Proposed rule in PDF format