An Act To Streamline the Process for Minors To Obtain a Work Permit
Sec. 1. 26 MRSA §775, as amended by PL 2001, c. 398, Pt. A, §1, is repealed.
Sec. 2. 26 MRSA §775-A is enacted to read:
§ 775-A. General work permit; master certificate
The superintendent may issue a permit only upon receiving and examining satisfactory evidence of the minor's age. Satisfactory evidence consists of a certified copy of the minor's birth certificate or baptismal record, a passport showing the date of birth or other documentary evidence of age satisfactory to the superintendent and approved by the director. The superintendent may require, in doubtful cases, a certificate signed by a physician appointed by the school board, stating that the minor has been examined and, in that physician's opinion, has reached the normal development of a minor of the same age and is in sufficiently sound health and physically able to perform the work the minor intends to do.
A superintendent may revoke a general work permit issued to a minor if the superintendent determines that the minor has not maintained the conditions for issuance of the general work permit under subsection 2, paragraph A. The superintendent shall notify the director and the minor's employer in writing upon revoking a minor's general work permit. The revocation is effective upon receipt by the employer of the superintendent's notice.
Unless revoked in accordance with this subsection, a general work permit is valid for 2 years after the date of signature. If there is reason to believe that a general work permit was improperly signed, the director or the director's designee shall notify the superintendent of schools of the school administrative unit in which the minor resides. The superintendent shall cancel the permit when directed to do so by the director. The director may develop an electronic transmittal system to fulfill these requirements.
(1) The employer meets the requirements of this subchapter; and
(2) The employment of minors by the employer conforms with the provisions of this subchapter.
(1) Verify the validity of the general work permit provided the minor;
(2) Determine whether the job title and description conform with the provisions of this subchapter; and
(3) Promptly notify the employer, the minor and the superintendent of schools of the school administrative unit in which the minor resides if a problem is detected.
Upon notification that a minor has suffered a workplace illness or injury, the director may initiate an inspection of the minor's workplace. Inspection may include a review of the master certificate and general work permit, a review of the job description, a review of the location where the minor became ill or was injured and an interview with the ill or injured minor.
Sec. 3. 26 MRSA §777, as amended by PL 2001, c. 398, Pt. A, §2, is repealed.
Sec. 4. 26 MRSA §779 is amended to read:
§ 779. Record of age received as evidence
Any record of age, as provided under section 775 775-A to determine whether or not a work permit may be issued to any child, shall be received as evidence of the age of such child in any prosecution under this subchapter.
Sec. 5. 26 MRSA §780, as amended by PL 1991, c. 544, §9, is further amended to read:
§ 780. Work permit conclusive for employer; documentary evidence of age
A work permit in regular form signed by a duly authorized officer, for all minors under 16 years of age, is conclusive evidence of age and educational attainment, in behalf of the employer of any minor, upon any prosecution for violation of the law relating to the employment of minors. An inspector of factories, attendance officer or other officer charged with the enforcement of this subchapter may make demand on any employer in or about whose place or establishment a minor apparently under the age of 16 years is employed, permitted or suffered to work, that such employer shall either furnish the inspector within 10 days documentary evidence of age as specified in section 775 775-A, or shall cease to employ, permit or suffer such minor to work in such place or establishment.
Sec. 6. 26 MRSA §782, sub-§2, as enacted by PL 2003, c. 452, Pt. O, §2 and affected by Pt. X, §2, is amended to read:
This bill simplifies the process for minors to obtain work permits by creating a general work permit, which may be issued to a minor by a superintendent of schools of the school administrative unit in which the minor resides. The general work permit allows for summer and school-year employment. The bill also creates a master certificate for employers, which identifies those employers who provide jobs that are safe and age-appropriate for minors. The bill describes the process of distributing information regarding approved employers through the Department of Labor's publicly accessible website and career centers and the state Job Bank. Finally, the bill sets out safe working conditions and the consequences to employers if those conditions are not maintained.