Employer Update March/April: Employer Compliance Classes, Understanding Workforce Data, I-9, and more

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No-Cost Courses for Employers on Complying with Employment Regulations

The Maine Department of Labor will offer sessions of its no-cost course that educate employers and the public about regulations governing the workplace.  The Laws Governing Workplace Rights classes are taught by staff of the Wage and Hour Division of the Bureau of Labor Standards.

  • Springvale: Thursday, May 19, 9 a.m. to noon at York County CareerCenter, 9 Bodwell Court, Springvale
  • Presque Isle: Tuesday, May 24, 9 a.m. to noon. Presque Isle CareerCenter, 66 Spruce Street, Suite 1, Presque Isle 
  • Augusta: Thursday, May 26, 9 a.m. to noon, SafetyWorks! Training Institute, Maine Department of Labor, 45 Commerce Drive, Augusta
  • Skowhegan: Tuesday, May 31, 9 a.m. to noon, Skowhegan CareerCenter, 98 North Avenue, Ste. 20, Skowhegan
  • Lewiston: Thursday, June 2, 9 a.m. to noon, Lewiston CareerCenter, 5 Mollison Way, Lewiston
  • Rockland: Wednesday, June 8, 9 a.m. to noon, Rockland CareerCenter, 91 Camden Street, Rockland
  • Portland: Thursday, June 9, 9 a.m. to noon, Greater Portland CareerCenter, 151 Jetport Blvd., Portland
  • Bangor: Wednesday, June 15, 9 a.m. to noon, Bangor CareerCenter, 45 Oak Street, Ste. 3, Bangor
  • Wilton: Wednesday, June 22, 9 a.m. to noon, Wilton CareerCenter, 865 US Route 2E, Wilton

To register, call the Maine Department of Labor at (207) 623-7900 or click here and search for your class.

Space is limited so reservations are required.

Updated for 2016

Department of Labor Employer and Services Guide

Cover to the Program and Service Guide

All things Maine DOL is only one click away. We've updated our Program and Service Guide to include current information and contacts for all of our resources essential to Maine businesses.

View and Download a Copy.

Easy Access Tip: This link always houses the latest version. Bookmark it today!

Form I-9 Expired on March 31, 2016. What do you do for new hires?

The current version of the Form I-9 continues to be effective after the Office of Management and Budget control number expiration date of March 31, 2016, until further notice from the Department of Homeland Security. 

Employers can visit the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) website at https://www.uscis.gov/i-9 to get the most updated information on the new Form I-9 when it becomes available.

Additional USCIS Resources:

Handbook for Employers


Reports that Maine is Losing Jobs are Based on Imprecise Data

Blog by the Center for Workforce Research and Information

Several recent news articles and editorials portray a negative employment situation that has developed over the last two years in Maine. An opinion piece declares, “16,000 Maine jobs vanish” since mid-2013. A front-page headline proclaims, “bad news lurks in falling jobless rate,” with the article noting, “Maine’s shrinking labor force appears to be a key factor driving the decline in the state’s unemployment rate.” Most of these articles cite the imbalance in the structure of our population, with thousands more people in their 50s and 60s approaching retirement than youths who will enter the workforce to replace them in the years ahead.

It is true that Maine faces serious challenges not only from an aging labor force, but also from downsizings and closures of forest-products industries — paper mills in particular — with significant ripple effects throughout certain regions of the state. Despite these challenges, it is not correct to claim that the state, as a whole, has begun losing jobs. Rather, there has been relatively steady job growth since 2010.

The conclusions about job loss in the media were based on imprecise estimates that have a wide margin of error and are subject to significant revisions over many years. Indeed, a look at the data a year or several years later sometimes provides a different indication of employment trends than preliminary estimates provide...Read more on Payroll Data vs. Household Data.

OSHA Issues Final Rule on Silica Dust

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America's workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule is comprised of two standards, one for Construction and one for General Industry and Maritime.

Read About Key Provisions and Compliance Schedule

Maine JobLink Coming Summer 2016

People in various work uniforms standing behind the Maine Job Link logo.


Maine's federally required labor exchange system, Maine's Job Bank, is being replaced by a new, online, cloud-based system this summer that will make it easier for job seekers and employers to connect. Stay tuned!

Northport First Responders Receives SHAPE Award for Safety

Hank Lang (center) receives the SHAPE Award for Northport First Responders from Pamela Megathlin (left), Director, Bureau of Labor Standards, as Dorot

Hank Lang (center) receives the SHAPE Award for Northport First Responders from Pamela Megathlin (left), Director, Bureau of Labor Standards, as Dorothy Havey (right), of Maine Senate President Michael Thibodeau's (R-Waldo) office, reads a legislative sentiment.

Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced in January that Northport First Responders has earned the Safety and Health Award for Public Employers (SHAPE). Northport is the first single-entity first responder to receive the award in Maine.

SHAPE recognizes public-sector organizations that voluntary undertake a rigorous safety achievement program for their workers; Monday's award brings the total number of SHAPE certified worksites in Maine to 65.

Any state, county, municipal or other public-sector employers interested in learning more about the SHAPE designation should contact SafetyWorks! at 1-877-SAFE 345 (1-877-723-3345) or http://www.safetyworksmaine.com . 

Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP)

Private sector employers interested in learning more about the SHARP designation should contact SafetyWorks! at 1-877-SAFE 345 (1-877-723-3345) or http://www.safetyworksmaine.com 

Vol 3, Iss 2, Mar/Apr 2016

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Meet with MDOL at the annual Maine HR Convention

Going to the Maine HR Convention? We're ready to answer your questions!

Maine Department of Labor's subject matter experts on safety, unemployment tax, wage and hour, employment services, and rehabilitation services, will once again be at the annual Maine HR Convention in May at the Samoset Resort.

MDOL Booth Schedule

May 10 and 11, 2016

  • Safety
  • Unemployment Tax
  • Wage and Hour

May 12 and 13, 2016

  • Employment Services
  • Rehabilitation Services
  • Safety

By the Numbers

Analysis of employment data by the Department of Labor's Center for Workforce Research and Information.

Unemployment Rate
3.4% in March 2016

Civilian Labor Force (seasonally adjusted)
674,344 in March 2016

Payroll Employment (seasonally adjusted)
614,600 in March 2016

Data Release Schedule

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Specializing in practical solutions to help make workplaces safer and healthier. Our services are free and confidential and we don't issue fines or citations.

Classes available in throughout Maine, at the SafetyWorks Training Institute in Augusta, or your location.

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Upcoming No-Cost Classes:

OSHA 2045 Machinery and Machine Guarding Standards

Mine Safety and Health Administration Refresher

Forklift Operator Safety

10-Hour Construction Standards

OSHA 503 - Update for General Industry Outreach Trainers

Ladder Safety Training

And more.

View a complete schedule.