Maine Revised Statutes

§42. Powers and duties

The bureau shall collect, assort and arrange statistical details relating to all departments of labor and industrial pursuits in the State; to trade unions and other labor organizations and their effect upon labor and capital; to the number and character of industrial accidents and their effect upon the injured, their dependent relatives and upon the general public; to other matters relating to the commercial, industrial, social, educational, moral and sanitary conditions prevailing within the State, including the names of firms, companies or corporations, where located, the kind of goods produced or manufactured, the time operated each year, the number of employees classified according to age and sex and the daily and average wages paid each employee; and the exploitation of such other subjects as will tend to promote the permanent prosperity of the industries of the State. The director is authorized and empowered, subject to the approval of the Governor, to accept from any other agency of government, individual, group or corporation such funds as may be available in carrying out this section, and meet such requirements with respect to the administration of such funds, not inconsistent with this section, as are required as conditions precedent to receiving such funds. An accounting of such funds and a report of the use to which they were put must be included in the biennial report to the Governor. Each agency of government shall cooperate fully with the bureau's efforts to compile labor and industrial statistics. The director shall cause to be enforced all laws regulating the employment of minors; all laws established for the protection of health, lives and limbs of operators in workshops and factories, on railroads and in other places; all laws regulating the payment of wages; and all laws enacted for the protection of the working classes. During an investigation to enforce those laws, the director may request records and other information relating to an employer's compliance with unemployment compensation and workers' compensation laws, including information needed to determine whether the employer has properly classified a worker as an independent contractor, and shall report suspected violations of those laws to the state or federal agency responsible for enforcing them. The director may adopt, in accordance with the Maine Administrative Procedure Act, rules regarding all such laws, except where this authority is granted to a board or commission. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter II-A. The director shall, on or before the first day of July, biennially, report to the Governor, and may make such suggestions and recommendations as the director may deem necessary for the information of the Legislature. The director may from time to time cause to be printed and distributed bulletins upon any subject that is of public interest and benefit to the State and may conduct a program of research, education and promotion to reduce industrial accidents. The director may review various data, such as workers' compensation records, as well as other information relating to any public or private employer's safety experience. When any individual public or private employer's safety experience causes the director to question seriously the safe working environment of that employer, the director may offer any safety education and consultation programs to that employer that may be beneficial in providing a safer work environment. If the employer refuses this assistance or is in serious noncompliance which may lead to injuries, or if serious threats to worker safety continue, then the director shall communicate concerns to appropriate agencies, such as the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration. As used in this section, the term "noncompliance" means a lack of compliance with any applicable health and safety regulations of the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration or other federal agencies. The bureau is responsible for the enforcement of indoor air quality and ventilation standards with respect to state-owned buildings and buildings leased by the State. The bureau shall enforce air quality standards in a manner to ensure that corrections to problems found in buildings be made over a reasonable period of time, using consent agreements and other approaches as necessary and reasonable. [1999, c. 649, §1 (AMD).]

The director may enter into reciprocal agreements with other states that maximize compliance with employment standards enforced by the director. [1993, c. 51, §1 (NEW).]

1971, c. 620, §13 (AMD). 1975, c. 771, §270 (AMD). 1977, c. 615, (AMD). 1987, c. 559, §B5 (AMD). 1987, c. 733, §5 (AMD). 1989, c. 502, §B24 (RPR). 1993, c. 51, §1 (AMD). 1997, c. 377, §1 (AMD). 1999, c. 649, §1 (AMD).