LD 1711 LR 835(02)
An Act To Enhance Enforcement of Employment Laws
Fiscal Note for Bill as Amended by Committee Amendment " "
Committee: Labor and Housing
Fiscal Note Required: Yes
Fiscal Note
FY 2021-22 FY 2022-23 Projections  FY 2023-24 Projections  FY 2024-25
Other Special Revenue Funds $500 $500 $500 $500
Correctional and Judicial Impact Statements
This bill may increase the number of civil suits filed in the court system.
The additional workload associated with the minimal number of new cases filed in the court system does not require additional funding at this time. 
The collection of additional filing fees may increase General Fund and other dedicated revenue by minor amounts.
Fiscal Detail and Notes
This legislation allows a whistleblower that is alleging a violation of certain labor laws to bring a private enforcement action on behalf of the State and in the name of the State after providing notice to the Attorney General, the Department of Labor or the  Maine Human Rights Commission, depending on the law that has been potentially violated.  Each agency has a choice as to whether or not to intervene.  If it chooses not to intervene, the whistleblower may proceed with the private enforcement action.
Both the Bureau of Labor Standards within the Department of Labor and the Maine Human Rights Commission have indicated that to meet the anticipated increased workload consistent with their stautory obligations, additional staff would be required. However, as the bill allows each agency to decide on a level of involvement on a case by case basis, no additional positions are included in this bill. The Office of the Attorney General has indicated it can comply with the requirements of this bill within existing budgeted resources.
This bill establishes the Community Outreach and Labor Education Fund within the Department of Labor as a dedicated, nonlapsing fund to assist workers in enforcing employment rights, including outreach, community-based education events, training materials, technical assistance, counseling and investigative, research and referral services.  Base allocations of $500 per year beginning in fiscal year 2021-22 will be required to authorize expenditures from the fund in the event revenue is received from a portion of civil penalties assessed.