An Act To Streamline the Work Permitting Process for Minors and To Conform Allowable Places That Minors May Work to Federal Law
Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, the last day of school occurs during the month of June each year for most secondary schools; and
Whereas, the purpose of this legislation is to expedite the process for minors to obtain their work permits for work occurring during the summer months; and
Whereas, it will be well into the summer of 2014 before nonemergency legislation takes effect; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
Sec. 1. 26 MRSA §773, first ¶, as amended by PL 2001, c. 43, §1, is further amended to read:
A minor under 16 years of age may not be employed, permitted or suffered to work in, about or in connection with any manufacturing or mechanical establishment, hotel, rooming house, laundry, except those commonly known as automatic laundries a coin-operated laundromat, dry cleaning establishments establishment, bakery, bowling alley, poolroom , or commercial places place of amusement, including a traveling shows and circuses show or circus, or in any theater or moving picture house or in conjunction with an amusement, game or show that allows or conducts betting. The provisions of this section pertaining to theaters do not apply to minors under 16 years of age who are employed or in training as theatrical actors or film actors. This section does not prohibit a minor under 16 years of age from performing work for a nonprofit organization that preserves film and other moving images and provides education and research opportunities for the public or for a theater that is operated by such an organization as an integral part of its mission.
Sec. 2. 26 MRSA §775, as amended by PL 2011, c. 614, §21, is further amended to read:
§ 775. Work permits
The superintendent's office shall distribute the work permit to the minor when school is in session. The work permit is valid only for the employer and positions listed on the permit as issued by the bureau. When school is not in session, the bureau shall issue the work permit directly to the minor and provide a copy to the superintendent of schools of the school administrative unit in which the minor resides.
Sec. 3. 26 MRSA §777, as amended by PL 2001, c. 398, Pt. A, §2, is repealed.
Sec. 4. 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 issued by a duly authorized officer the bureau, 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, or shall cease to employ, permit or suffer such minor to work in such place or establishment.
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.
Current law requires that a minor start the work permitting process through the superintendent of schools of the school administrative unit in which the minor resides regardless of whether school is in session. This bill would allow a minor less than 16 years of age to obtain a work permit directly from the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Standards when school is not in session. The bill clarifies the roles and responsibilities of the superintendent of the school administrative unit and of the bureau as they relate to the work permitting process. The bill specifies that the bureau may issue a permit for a student who is attending summer school only after receiving certification from the superintendent that the student is enrolled in summer school, not truant, not under suspension and passing a majority of courses during the current grading period. The bill specifies that when school is not in session the bureau may issue a permit for a student only after receiving satisfactory evidence of the minor's age. The bill also authorizes the bureau to revoke a permit when there is reason to believe the permit should be revoked. Finally, the bill allows a minor less than 16 years of age to work in a bowling alley or theater, which conforms to federal law, and repeals the language dealing with triplicate permits and a master permit system.