Mid April Legislative Watch List

  

Time always seems to slip away as competing priorities leapfrog from one over to the next. There is always time for something else & now is the time for a Legislative Watch List update.

As a reminder, LCRED refers to the Joint Commitee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development.

But first, a shout out for the Maine Department of Labor’s Employer’s Newsletter.

The Legislative Session is in full swing and the Department of Labor has submitted bills we feel would be of interest to employers. Whichever side you stand on the issue, we encourage you to read more about each bill at http://legislature.maine.gov, reach out to your senator or representative, and/or learn more on how you can testify on an issue to a committee

 

LD188: Protect employers from abusive work environments.  LCRED status:  Divided Report & Not Reported out. WGHR analysis: Ought Not To Pass – current Workers Compensation & Maine Human Rights Commission protections are adequate.

LD 489: Right to Work Without Payment of Fees or Dues…  No public hearings or work sessions have been scheduled.  Stay Tuned.

LD 686: Promote Privacy in Social Media. The Committee on Judiciary has this one. There are direct workforce interest & implications. “This bill protects the social media privacy of employees and applicants from employment.”    WGHR supports responsible free speech & privacy. The public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, April 30 @ 1 PM. Stay Tuned.

LD 1015: Require Large Employers to Report Compensation Information.  During the public hearing, the bill sponsor failed to articulate a compelling reason as to why this legislation was appropriate for the greater good of Maine. At best, the shallow rationalization of self interest was transparently disingenuous. The LCRED work session was convened on Thursday, April 16.  Other obligations prevented listening to the work session. LCRED status – not reported out. WGHR expectation – Divided Report along party lines. Click here for WGHR’s initial thoughts.  WGHR analysis: Ought Not To Pass.

Upcoming hearings of interest: Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

LD1157:  Protect Preemployment Credit Privacy. Upon first reading, appears to be redundant to existing Federal protections & restrictions.   See the Fair Credit Reporting Act for more information. WGHR Analysis:  Unnecessary redundancy.

LD1201: Standardize & Simplify … Drug-Free Workplace Policy.   This is a tweak to & continuation of existing efforts to have the Maine Department of Labor issue a standard Model Policy for employers v the current & obsolete practice of having each employer independently develop their own drug free testing programs. The tweaks include essential modernization of requirements, i.e. Establish an EAP & subsidize rehabilitation expenses. The elephant in this legislation is the inclusion of medical marijuana considerations.   Stay Tuned

Minimum wage initiatives will be covered in another posting.

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