Posts Tagged ‘Maine Department of Labor’

(Maine) Law Allows 14 and 15 Year Olds To Be Hired in New Occupations Immediately

Teens can work in movie theaters, bowling alleys, permanent amusement parks and in certain places in bakeries and hotels

PRESS RELEASE

July 10, 2017
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

AUGUSTA—The Department of Labor’s bill to modernize the regulations governing youth employment, LD 1564, which was amended by the Senate to include an emergency preamble, is now law and effective immediately.

“There is no better preparation for the responsibilities of adulthood than working when you are a teenager,” stated Governor LePage. “My administration has placed a high priority on opening up more opportunities for young people to work, and on our fourth attempt in five years at passing these much needed reforms, the Legislature responded. There is more we can do, so we must continue to help young people gain the experience, skills, and knowledge about their own career interests that can only come from holding a job.”

LD 1564, sponsored by Senator Brian Langley of Hancock County, encourages minors to develop work skills earlier by removing some of the barriers to employment that existed in statute and brings certain provisions into compliance with federal law to ensure that young people are protected from hazardous conditions. It amends laws relating to minors 14 and 15 years of age to allow them to work in bowling alleys, movie theaters and permanent amusement parks, and to clarify their employment in bakeries, hotels and rooming houses—opening more occupations and broadening the things they can do.

“Employers in these industries can immediately begin making job offers to 14 and 15 year olds for the newly expanded occupations,” advised Commissioner of Labor John Butera. “Maine’s employers need these workers to help in this tight labor market, and we’ve seen a surge in permits this year. Our team is working hard to turn around approved permits as soon as possible.”

The work-permit application can be downloaded and printed directly from the department’s website: http://www.maine.gov/labor/laborlaws/publications/mainework_permit.pdf . The approval process has three steps: the employer makes the job offer and helps complete the application, the parent or guardian signs the application and brings it to the superintendent’s office. The school system sends the form to the department. Be sure the application form includes proof of age, the parent’s or guardian’s signature, the actual business name, and the specific job duties (e.g., “dishwasher”) for faster turn-around.

The bill also allows for the modernization of the work permit process, clarifies that graduates of vocational programs who are under 18 years of age can work in the occupations for which they were trained, grants the department, not just superintendents, the ability to revoke a permit and allows the department to make rules governing employment. Included as well are restrictions in employment relating to legalized marijuana.

A copy of the Guide to Maine Laws Governing the Employment of Minors and permit is posted on the Maine Department of Labor website at http://www.maine.gov/labor/bls/index.shtml .
Businesses with questions about employing minors can call the customer service line at (207) 623-7900 or email their request to mdol@maine.gov .

 

Information for Maine JobLink Account Holders

More than 12,000 resumes in the database

America’s JobLink (AJL) Data Incident

Press Release
TOPEKA, Kan., March 21, 2017 – America’s JobLink (AJL), a multi-state web-based system that links job seekers with employers, has been the victim of a hacking incident from an outside source. AJLA–TS is developed and maintained by American’s Job Link Alliance–Technical Support (AJLA–TS). AJLA–TS has been in business for almost 50 years; this is the first known intrusion AJLA–TS has experienced.

On March 21st, AJLA–TS confirmed that a malicious third party “hacker” exploited a vulnerability in the AJL application code to view the names, Social Security Numbers, and dates of birth of job seekers in the AJL systems of up to ten states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Oklahoma, and Vermont. Upon discovery of this activity, AJLA–TS immediately intervened and deployed its technical team to assess and stop the incursion, disabling the hacker’s access to the AJL systems.

AJLA–TS is working diligently with law enforcement officials to identify and apprehend the perpetrator. An independent forensic firm is completing work to determine how many job seeker accounts may have been viewed and where those individuals are located. The firm has verified that the method of the hacker’s attack has been remediated and is no longer a threat to the AJLA–TS system.

AJLA–TS also develops and maintains ReportLink, a workforce program data management system, and CertLink, a Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) management system. The forensic firm has concluded that the code vulnerability did not affect those systems.

Media and individuals with additional questions should contact Christine Bohannon, Director, AJLA–TS at christineb@ajla.net.

Information for Maine JobLink Account Holders, Especially Those Containing Valid Social Security Numbers

New accounts created on or after March 16 are not affected.

Job seeker accounts that include a valid Social Security Number are potentially at most risk. To check this please log into your JobLink account; as long as you were not actively filing for unemployment benefits you can delete your Social Security Number from your JobLink account. You can do this online without calling the department.

Additional information will be sent to the email on file in Maine JobLink to individuals determined most at risk in accordance with state law.

The department recommends that you put a freeze on your credit report if you had a valid Social Security Number in your JobLink account. Maine law allows you to freeze your credit report for free.

A credit freeze will prevent unauthorized parties from accessing your credit report unless you give them specific permission. Freezing your credit will not affect your credit score. The three Credit Reporting Agencies are Equifax, https://www.freeze.equifax.com ; Experian, https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html ; and Trans Union, http://www.transunion.com/securityfreeze .

It is possible for you to place a free, 90-day fraud alert on your credit reports with the three major credit reporting organizations, and to extend the 90-day alert by calling for an extension after the initial 90 days.

Under Maine law, you are also entitled to a free credit report from the three reporting agencies each year. Detailed instructions for taking these steps are available on the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation’s website, http://www.maine.gov/pfr/financialinstitutions/consumer/credit_report.htm .

Questions can be addressed by calling the Maine Department of Labor at 1-888-457-8883. Due to an expected high call volume, your patience is appreciated.

 

Job Advertising Fraud — WABI-TV

Russ Van Arsdale and Joy talk about a recent trend in job advertising fraud.

The Maine Department of Labor issued an alert on Friday on a scam attempt in the form of a posting on the Maine Job Bank. The posting used Central Maine Medical Center’s name and federal ID number to advertise for a bookkeeper and an administrative assistant. Job seekers who replied were told to set up a Yahoo e-mail account – as correspondence went on, applicants were asked to give their financial information.

 The DOL urges people to keep using the Maine Job Bank, but ignore any posts that ask for new e-mail set-ups or interviews by way of instant messaging system. The scammer’s use of a public e-mail system is a tip-off, as if a request to set up any account.

Maine Career Center (www.mainecareercenter.com) has the warning on its web page.

JP Morgan Chase data breach may have affected 1,300 Mainers

CONSUMER FORUM

By Russ Van Arsdale, Executive Director, Northeast CONTACT
Posted Dec. 15, 2013, at 1:01 p.m.
Breach. It’s a word that strikes fear in the hearts of company CEOs, bankers and consumer protection officials everywhere.
The breach of J.P. Morgan Chase and Company’s computer data may have affected as many as 465,000 consumers. But it’s the company’s response — rather than the breach itself — that is drawing the most media attention.

The breach occurred sometime in July and affected data on holders of U-Cards. Those are debit cards Chase issues to a variety of government bodies to pay claimants of unemployment insurance and other benefits. In Maine, roughly 1,300 people who collect unemployment benefits via the U-Cards may have been affected.

Data on claimants is usually encrypted in the Chase servers. However, during the breach some of that data appeared as plain text, there for the hackers to read. The data may have included claimants’ card numbers, dates of birth, user ID and email addresses. Their personal identification numbers apparently could not be viewed.

Maine uses unique identifiers, rather than Social Security numbers, to identify recipients. While many people whose data were accessed might understandably be concerned about their data being misused, the lack of connection to their SSNs should offer some comfort.

That does not mean those claimants should have no concerns. The Maine Department of Labor, which was informed Dec. 4 of the breach, is advising people who have the U-Cards to check their accounts for any suspicious activity. While state officials don’t believe the breach resulted in any loss of funds, they can’t check individual accounts; they suggest recipients call Chase’s customer service number at 866-315-1011 to be sure.

Chase officials have said, since there was no loss of funds, they don’t plan to issue new cards to those whose data were involved in the breach. Chase spokesman Michael Fusco is quoted as saying the bank acted appropriately.

“When we detected this issue, our first priority was to protect our systems, cardholders’ data and accounts,” Fusco said. After an internal investigation to find out what accounts and data might have been exposed, Chase alerted authorities and started notifying affected cardholders.

The word didn’t reach the Maine Department of Labor until Dec. 4, although the breach was discovered in mid-September. That gap did not make people like Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette happy. “The Department of Labor is looking into the situation surrounding the breach and why we were not informed sooner of this event,” Paquette said in a news release Dec. 6.

Maine law requires notification of those whose data were breached “without unreasonable delay” or, when law enforcement officials advise that notification will no longer impede their investigation, within seven days. Some consumer advocates are suspicious of longer delays, suspecting that companies whose data have been breached may shop around for sympathetic cops to approve delays while the firms get their ducks in a row.

The investigation into the Chase breach is continuing. Affected Mainers might also want to get a free credit report (we’re entitled to one each year from the three reporting agencies). Find the free ones online at http://www.AnnualCreditReport.com.

Consumer Forum is a collaboration of the Bangor Daily News and Northeast CONTACT, Maine’s all-volunteer, nonprofit consumer organization. For assistance with consumer-related issues, including consumer fraud and identity theft, or for information, write Consumer Forum, P.O. Box 486, Brewer 04412, visit https://necontact.wordpress.com or email contacexdir@live.com.

 

Corporate Records Service scam targets, dupes small businesses

CONSUMER FORUM

By Russ Van Arsdale, Executive Director, Northeast CONTACT
Posted April 07, 2013, at 11:25 a.m.

 The people in Maine’s division of corporations, a department within the Secretary of State’s office, have been a busy in recent weeks.

Responding to calls of concern, they sent a number of emails to corporations regarding a scam that’s been making the rounds nationwide. The goal, as in most scams, is to get unsuspecting recipients to send money in exchange for, well, nothing.

An outfit calling itself Corporate Records Service (CRS) sent letters to a number of Maine businesses, and those letters were more than a little official-looking. Printed on legal-size paper, the letters told business owners that CRS would “prepare and provide corporate minutes” that allegedly meet requirements of state law.

“As soon as we learned of it, we knew it wasn’t legitimate,” said Barbara Redmond, Maine’s chief deputy secretary of state. As the division of corporations pointed out in a recent news release, “Maine corporations are not required to file corporate minutes with the Secretary of State’s office.”

While corporations do have to file annual reports by June 1, they do not have to file meeting minutes. And they certainly don’t have to pay an unknown party $125 to do so.

The division’s news release and mass emailing to corporations cautioned, “We want to alert all entities [for-profit businesses and nonprofits] of this deceptive solicitation to prevent entities from feeling compelled to complete the form and send payment to a mailing center post office box address by the deadline on the form.”

Northeast CONTACT was alerted to the scam by a Bangor-area business that had complied with the solicitation. On learning it was a scam, the owner canceled his credit card as a precaution (meanwhile, the mailbox service had flagged the unauthorized mail recipient — CRS — and returned the mailing to the owner).

Business owners might be duped by such a scam for several reasons. Forms that appear to be matters of official business carry more weight than “junk mail.” Small businesses by definition have a limited number of employees; they may be doing several jobs and may not be trained to spot scam attempts.

Finally, the sheer volume of mail that many businesses receive makes attention to such details problematic. Businesses are targets of a number of schemes, notably offers to sell office supplies at better-than-believable prices. One offer — to print all government-required employee notices on one laminated sheet — is often outdated nearly as soon as it’s received (get them free at www.maine.gov/labor/posters/index.html).

Cara McCormick of Belfast owns two corporations in Maine. Recalling the fines for missing a previous annual report filing deadline, she had filled out two of the bogus forms, enclosed checks and was ready to mail them. She checked her email and found the warning from the division of corporations. “They deserve to be commended for their timely response,” McCormick said.

All entities on record with the Secretary of State may want to check filing requirements at http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/corp/helpful.html and call the division of corporations at (207) 624-7752 with questions.

Inspector Michael Desrosiers of the Postal Inspection Service in Portland says the service has not investigated this particular mailing. He advises average citizens and business people alike to be sure they know who they’re sending money to, and that if it’s a scam, “you will never get that money back.” For more, visit the Inspection Service website, www.deliveringtrust.com.

Consumer Forum is a collaboration of the Bangor Daily News and Northeast CONTACT, Maine’s all-volunteer, nonprofit consumer organization. For assistance with consumer-related issues, including consumer fraud and identity theft, or for information, write Consumer Forum, P.O. Box 486, Brewer 04412, visit https://necontact.wordpress.com or email contacexdir@live.com.

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