Dept. of Labor announces changes to work search requirements

Fri, 07/10/2020 - 9:45am

AUGUSTA — In accordance with the recent extension through August 6 of the state’s Civil Emergency due to COVID-19, the Department of Labor is further waiving the work search requirement for Maine people receiving unemployment benefits.

The work search waiver for workers temporarily laid off from their jobs, and who expect to return to them, now runs through September 5, per a news release.

This waiver was granted by emergency legislation on March 17 and extended the work search waiver for 30 days after the end of a civil emergency declaration.

The Department has also extended the work search through July 18 for anyone permanently laid off or not expecting to return to their employer.

After July 18, they will be required, according to the release, to search for work in order to continue receiving benefits.

After July 18, all claimants will need to report on a weekly basis: the employers that they have sought work from in the past week or the employer to which they will be returning

Those who are still connected to their employer, and therefore not required to search for other work until September 5, must still be able and available to work for their employer.

Despite these extensions, the Department encourages all claimants to create a Maine JobLink account, update their resume, and explore online CareerCenter services. The Maine JobLink and CareerCenter services can be found at mainecareercenter.gov.

If an employer has offered work to an employee and had it refused, they should notify the Department, so a fact-finding can be held to determine if there was good cause for the refusal of work. If not, then the claimant would no longer be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Employers can report refusals of work at maine.gov/unemployment/ucbr.