Amend the Laws Governing Unemployment Compensation

Last updated: Jun 12, 2017

Details about this bill
Category: Wage and Labor
Status: Passed
Sponsor: Senator Brian Langley, Senate 28 - Cumberland County
Session: 128
Bill #: LD 1530




The purpose of this bill is to bring consistency to Maine's employment security law and bring it into compliance with changes in federal law. The bill:

1. Repeals outdated provisions;

2. Provides that nominal fees or stipends paid to a volunteer are excluded from the definition of wages and specifies that a volunteer does not meet the definition of "employee";

3. Clarifies the status of workers with specific disabilities who are not eligible for unemployment in order to be consistent with changes to state and federal wage and hour laws;

4. Reflects changes to a program name in the federal law;

5. Specifies that unemployment benefits will not be awarded to an employee during a mutually agreed-upon leave or sabbatical leave from the employee's employer;

6. Provides that a reduction in hours initiated by the employee and agreed upon by the employee and employer does not qualify the employee for unemployment benefits;

7. Amends the requalification amount specified under the provision governing absence from work due to incarceration so as to align with the requalification amount specified in provisions governing discharge from work due to misconduct;

8. Amends the definition of "intermittent employment" to specify that employees who have the same reduction in hours of work each year due to the cyclical nature of their employers' business are not eligible for work-sharing benefits; and

9. Specifies that an employer's experience rating may not be charged when an employee has requested an unpaid, voluntary reduction in hours.