Maine Employment Law Update – July 2018


Temporary Layoffs, Unemployment, and Work Search

On July 9, 2018, the governor’s veto of H.P. 491 was overridden by the state’s House and Senate to create an exemption from the eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits. Under the exemption, any otherwise eligible individual who is temporarily laid off by an employer, with a definite recall date, may not be denied benefits for any week based on his or her failure to meet the work search requirements for up to six weeks during that temporary layoff. However, the law also requires that the individual remain in contact with, and be able and available to work for, that employer during those six weeks (as applicable).

The law also:

  • Provides that an individual may not receive more than six weeks of benefits in a benefit year unless approved by the Maine Department of Labor.
  • Expands the definition of “good cause” for unemployment purposes. When an unemployed individual completes re-employment services and eligibility assessment with the department within the prior five years, the individual is considered to have good cause for not participating in re-employment services and eligibility assessment as otherwise required by law.

The law became effective July 9, 2018.

Read ME H.P. 491